Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Now I wanna know where my flying car is!

We truly live in an amazing age! We can talk to our friends and relatives 1/2 a world away and it sounds like they're right next us. We can get from point A to point B without having to actually be able to read a map. News from around the world can travel in moments rather than months. We have a black president. These are things that most people only dreamed of 50 or 100 years ago, yet they are everyday things to us.

When I was in 8th grade, I had a great teacher named Mr. J Ackmann. He was a great teacher because he tried to show and teach us that there is a REALLY big world outside of tiny Fort Wayne. He helped to teach us the relevance of history, the importance of keeping up with current events and the ability to dream about the future.

In class one day, he told us that some day not too far in the future, we would see meat in regular packages on store shelves. The meat wouldn't have to be refrigerated to keep from spoiling and our selection wouldn't just be limited to canned meats like Vienna Sausages and Hormel chili. I thought he was insane. Meat has to be refrigerated, right? If it's not, it has to at least be cured with salt or something, right? Obviously the man was off of his rocker!

Well, call me stunned. He was a genius! Last night while grocery shopping, I was looking for lunch options other than my standard can of soup or frozen meal when I stumbled down the aisle that contained things like Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and Hamburger Helper. There amidst all of the boxed carbohydrates was a display of a new product from Hormel called Compleats. These little microwaveable meals (about 10 oz) claim to be ready in 90 seconds and can be stored in your pantry shelf (or desk drawer as the case may be). Amazing! According to Hormel's website, the Compleats "utilize shelf-stable technology pioneered by Hormel since 1987". They come in a wide variety of flavors and since most of them have well under 300 calories and cost about $2.50 each, they make an excellent lunch option when combined with a piece of fruit and beverage of your choice. Outstanding!

I haven't had one yet, but I will certainly let you know what I think. (Don't I always?)

Now, somebody better be working on rolling out that flying car we were promised back in the 50s!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Donald Trump is an arbitrary asshole!

I hate to admit it, but one of my guilty pleasures is watching a few, well-chosen reality TV shows. I realize that a lot can be manipulated in the editing room, but I'm always amazed at what people will say and do when they KNOW cameras are running.

One of the reality shows that I chose to watch several years ago was the first one or two seasons of "The Apprentice". I thought it was an interesting concept and I was always amazed by how the contestants came up with new and interesting strategies for selling or promoting something. And who doesn't enjoy watching them when they aren't quite so clever? However, after a few season I stopped watching. After watching last night's episode of "Celebrity Apprentice", I remember why!

In the episode, the contestants (celebrities) were challenged to shoot an ad for ALL Small and Mighty disguised as a viral video. Neither team really got the challenge and, consequently, both videos were horrible in my opinion. Apparently the makers of All and Donald Trump agreed, so he decided to bring both teams back into the boardroom where he told them "2 of you WILL be going home".

Team Kotu (led by Clint Black) submitted a video that bordered on being porn. It showed a man calling home to ask his wife if she wanted to "do the dirty laundry" that night. It was poorly acted, poorly shot and since All's target demographic was women (mostly moms) over the age of 25, a poor choice of subject material. ....oh....and it wasn't funny!

The concept shot by Team Athena (led my Melissa Rivers) showed Jesse James being cleaned by three "little people" dressed to look like All Small and Mighty bottles. While it was considerably funnier than Kotu's submission, it didn't reach All's target audience either. However, the working environment seemed FAR better than that of the Kotu team. Melissa was organized, everyone was given tasks which they completed very well and I think everyone was behind their concept and video.

The same can certainly NOT be said for the Team Kotu. Clint Black basically decided what he wanted and when the other people, including Joan Rivers, voiced their disagreements (vehemently in some cases), he ignored them and continued as he saw fit.

When it came time for the firings to begin, Melissa brought Tionne Watkins, who had volunteered to go into the boardroom as a sign of solidarity to her team and because she believed in their final product, and Brandy Roderick. While there was no clear cut weak member of their team, "The Donald"'s decision to fire Tionne simply because she volunteered to come back into the boardroom was ridiculous to say the least.

For Team Kotu, Clint Black brought Natalie Gulbis and Khloe Khardashian in with him. In my opinion, neither of them did anything to merit being brought into the boardroom and for me, the decision to fire Clink Black would have been VERY easy. Instead, D. Trump goes on and on by first asking Clint if he misses his wife and family and would like to be fired so that he can go home and be with them and continue his music career. Then he tells Natalie that he knows that there is a golf tournament in Japan that really wants her to be there and wouldn't she like to be fired so that she could fulfill that obligation. Finally, he turns to Khloe and says that she had missed much of the previous challenge and he was shocked when she told him that it was so that she could go home to fulfill an obligation to attend a class for the DUI she received. He went on and on about how stupid driving while drunk is and that if he had known she had received the DUI she never would have been asked to be on the show. "Khloe, you're fired." WTF? Please! Is his show so poorly run that research on these people REALLY isn't done? I don't believe that he didn't know for one minute.

So, in a world run by "The Donald", here's what we've learned, kids.... 1) If there is a chance that it will end in a bad result for you, most certainly DO NOT stand up for what you believe in and 2) even if all the people around you are f*ck-ups and you are changing your behavior and making amends, your missteps and life lessons will never be forgiven or forgotten.

Thank goodness "The Amazing Race" is back on next Sunday night!


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