Systal Opaliss


So you know when you're commenting on someone's blog or sending "sensitive" information and you have to type in the tweaked out words on the screen to prove you're human and not part of the robot uprising?  Am I the only one who thinks that perhaps these are not nonsensical letter combinations at all but part of a secret alien/monster/robot language and we are all either being tested for weaknesses or otherwise laughed at because when we type in "Systal Opaliss" it translates in robot language to: "I eat poop."
Just wondering.

Easter Thoughts

I'm not going to get into "what Easter means" today.  But I am going to talk about what Easter doesn't mean.
(Note: I am not telling anyone how to raise their children.  Merely expressing my opinion.)
   
When I was young, on Easter we received a small-to-mediumish basket which contained:
1 decent level (say, Hershey brand) hollow chocolate bunny.
An assortment of small chocolates, a small assortment of jelly beans or other non-chocolate candy.
Possibly 1 (small) stuffed animal or, in my brother's case, a couple of matchbox cars.
Perhaps a medium item like a Cadbury caramel egg.
That's it.  And though my parents provided a basket for us until about age 12 or so, somehow, every year it came as a surprise that we received one.

Still in our footie pajamas, we would have to search for the location of our basket (because for some reason the Easter bunny hid it?) and then we could have a few pieces of candy from it.  Later, we would go to my grandma's house for Easter dinner and family time.  It was a nice time.  We would read children's books telling the story of Christ's resurrection (which, when I was a kid, I didn't entirely understand...I didn't completely "get" how the day of Christ's crucifixion could be called "Good Friday."  It seemed counter-intuitive to my young mind.  {In fact, I remember quite vividly trying to reason this out during an Easter meal.  Okay, if He's perfect and stuff, why would anyone want to kill Him?  And who would be dumb enough to mess with God's son?  Because that's going to make God mad.  Didn't they know that?  People tell me to rejoice and be grateful 'cuz he died on the cross, but it seems really sad.  It doesn't really seem like something to celebrate.  Such were the thoughts of my brilliant nine-year-old mind trying to wrap itself around the events of Easter weekend.})
Of course, as an adult, I have a much more thorough understanding.
But as a child, my take away was that Easter was a time to celebrate, a time to be happy, a time to be glad that someone was looking out for us even if we didn't see Him, and a time to celebrate a fresh new year.  (For my mother, who hated winter with a passion, Spring was all about new life and the year didn't REALLY begin until the robins came and smell of fresh earth was in the air.)

The point is, when I was young, my family went to church almost never, but we still believed in God even when we didn't understand, and we believed in family and in love for one another and in courtesy, respect, compassion.  We believed in being grateful for the things that were Good.

At no point during this time did I unwrap a gift.  At no point were electronic devices, games, or clothes part of the equation.

Many years later, I make my living as a cashier and here's what I've observed in the past couple weeks:
The typical items for Easter baskets are: DVD's; CD's; clothes (jeans, tank tops, bikinis, flip-flops, hoodies, sunglasses); sports equipment (soccer balls, basketballs, cleats, baseball gloves & bats, knee pads, bike helmets); bikes; make-up; jewelry; video games and accessories . . .the list goes on.

I had a customer come through my line and ask my opinion of which stuffed Hop bunny I liked better because her son had asked for one on his Easter basket list.
Really? . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . Really?
Another customer, when I asked how his day was going, he commented that it was terrible and busy and he still had to go over to [a store] to get X, Y, and Z items because all his son put on his Easter list was sports equipment.
I had customers getting hundred dollar bills broken down into twenties or tens "for the kids' Easter cards."
I had teenage girls who were with their mothers, picking out three pairs of spring heels that they "can't have 'till the Easter bunny drops 'em off."

I am not anti-Easter-bunny.  I am down with hunting for eggs for some mysterious reason and I'm all about chocolate bunnies and delicious meals with family.
But Easter is not a Springtime version of the worst version of Christmas.  It is not giftapalooza. There should  NEVER, EVER, EVER be such a thing as an Easter basket list.  When expectation replaces gratitude, that's when God is like "fuck it, I think I'll destroy this batch and start fresh."
Can you blame Him?



Adventures with Food

So here are some snippets from recent that don't really fit anywhere.

I followed the directions on the package EXACTLY.  It said to broil for 5 minutes.  Now, I have never "broiled" garlic bread; it is always baked, so I was skeptical of this method.  Additionally, this was my first experience broiling anything, but I was game, figuring I'd only learn by doing, right?

Yeah, no.  Sometimes when the package says 'broil' and you think 'bake'....go with the baking.  Play it safe.

On a frigid night, I opened every window in our apartment as wide as possible to let the stinky burnt-garlic smoke escape.  

And apparently I am not as adept with smoke alarms as I should be, because the only way I could figure out to stop the beeping was to yank the stupid battery out (and I didn't even realize that's what I was doing until it was out).  
Garlic bread: 1 - Becky: 0



Please tell me you see the alien face here.
I took about twenty pics with different flashes trying to get a decent shot that would show what I saw when I picked this nugget out of my 4-pack of McNuggets. (And no, I am not at all proud of the fact that I ate such terrible "food.")



I was pretty worried that no one would see "McAlien," so I gave him a toothpick body to help with the visualization.  Shawn and I differed a bit on how to handle this new edible friend.  I gave him a body and took pictures before I ate him because I knew he was special.  Shawn, meanwhile, was of the opinion 'your nuggets are getting cold, and are we going to watch "The Walking Dead" or not?'
Well, geez.


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