Friday, August 29, 2008

Visit it. Resist it. Admit it. Listen to it.

Another potluck post for your reading enjoyment . . .

Visit it: The Public Library! I do love books as physical objects, but I am really beginning to be overwhelmed by the number of books I own (don’t tell my husband). There are certain authors and titles that I feel the need to own, and I don’t see that changing. There are other books I really want to read but probably don’t need to own. In the past, I have often purchased these books anyway because the chances of finding them at my branch of the library were slim. Not now. The Chicago Public Library has finally gotten its act together online. I am enjoying the fact that I can finally renew books online. Even more than that, I am enjoying the ability to request books online. I place a book on hold, select the branch where I want to pick it up, and wait for the call that it’s available. Pretty sweet. Mostly, I request newly-published novels, but I am also into getting cookbooks from the library. I would not have wanted to buy Katie Lee Joel’s cookbook, for example, but I am curious to see her recipes and determine if she has more personality (i.e., any at all) than she managed to show on her ill-fated season as the host of Top Chef Season One.

Resist it: Target’s Archer Farms Whole Wheat Macaroni and Cheese. You’re familiar with Target, right? That big store where the customer service is indifferent at best and items are frequently out of stock and where you go on a weekly basis to spend way more money than you intended? Yes, I am familiar. Anyway, Archer Farms is one of Target’s brands. The packaging of Archer Farms products is attractive and the flavor combinations tempting. Recently, I noticed that Archer Farms makes like a dozen different kinds of whole wheat macaroni and cheese. Excited, I tossed a Buffalo Macaroni and Cheese, a Porcini Mushroom one, and a Savory Swiss. With Little Bit still so little and needing to nurse a lot and whatnot, meal times are all about convenience here. I thought these specialty mac and cheeses would be a tasty addition to the recent dinner rotation around here of Lean Cuisine pizzas, lunchmeat sandwiches, and Trader Joe’s prepared foods. So far, the results have not been that great. I generally have no problem with whole wheat pasta products, but this macaroni is chalky. More than that though, the flavor combinations disappoint; to quote the hubby: “They look good. They sound like they are going to be good but they’re just not there . . . they’re just a little bit off.” Added to that, you make one (smallish) box of this mac and cheese and if you eat the entire thing, it’s 900 calories. I admit I haven’t checked the calorie count on the Kraft or Annie’s boxes, but 900 seems very high, especially for an item that is being marketed as pseudo-healthy with the whole wheat pasta and all.

Admit it: I am a grocery store addict. I go too often. I buy too much stuff. I spend too much money. My pantry, freezer, and refrigerator are full. Strangely though, I usually feel ill-prepared to put together a meal. I need to start planning ahead, using my “reserves” before everything expires, and getting a grip on my grocery habit. I could say much more on this topic, but I’ve heard admitting you have a problem is the first step.

Listen to it: Julianne Hough’s self-titled CD. I purchased this CD at Circuit City the same day I scored my Wii Fit. It’s been in our car for a couple of months now, and I am loving it. First, I adore Julianne on my beloved Dancing with the Stars. She is a great dancer and teacher and so stinking cute. Second, I think she has a beautiful voice (as beautiful as her hair). Third, I spent years of my life as a huge country music fan and it is nice to be listening to country again. When I drive and listen to this CD, I am reminded of a younger and more carefree version of MEP who drove and sang along to country songs in a carseat-free sedan, sometimes on winding roads and on hills as opposed to on city streets lined up on a grid. I am thrilled with my life as it is now, but I do like to be reminded of the earlier versions of MEP. My favorite track is “My Hallelujah Song.” I genuinely find it inspirational. Some of the other tracks I enjoy because the lyrics are so country it’s ridiculous. Here are two of my favorite lyrical moments on the album:

From “Jimmy Ray McGee”:
Jimmy Ray McGee asked me to the senior prom
But I went on another boy's arm
Heard he made someone else a mom

From “Hello”:
So you met him at Shoney's and he gave you his card
And you said you'd go out Friday night
Well, he's a total stranger but he's tall and he's cute
Girl, am I getting this right?
Now didn't we cover all this ground last week?
When the last loser left you alone
Now here we are havin' the same conversation
And I'm wonderin' if there's anybody home

I’ve never eaten at a Shoney’s much less met a man there. NTB or my loss? I think they have a sundae bar at Shoney's so you decide.

Okay, that’s all I got for this Labor Day weekend. Please share your own visit it, resist it, admit it, listen to it list in a comment. Bloggers, consider your own post on the topic!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

At home with his gnome

I had a meeting with my dissertation director on Tuesday afternoon, and my aunt very kindly agreed to babysit Bub and Little Bit (Baby Boy's new blog handle and around-the-house nickname for now) while I was gone. She not only showed up early but arrived with gifts. An adorable onesie, a romper, and these super soft little footsie things called "flipper slippers" for Little Bit. For the Bub, she brought a gnome.

This gnome is pretty impressive, NTB. When you squeeze his toe, you can record a message. Then, you press his chest to hear it played back to you in a gnome voice. My aunt and cousin initially set it up to say, "Bubby is cool." He seemed to like that. He and I played around with the gnome later in the day and tested out some other messages: "Bubby is a great big brother." "Mommy and Daddy love Bubby so much." "Bubby is amazing" ("amazing" is one of his favorite words).

His favorite message continues to be "Mommy and Daddy love Bubby so much." There must just be something about being reminded of your parents love by elfin creature with a squeaky voice. Anyway, the other night before bed, I re-recorded that message for him and he kept pressing the gnome's chest over and over to hear about how loved he was. What cracked me up though, was his response. The gnome would say his piece, and the Bub would smile and say, "Tank you hon." Just really cute. NTB.

To my aunt, giver of the gnome, I say: "Tank you hon."

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Me So Corny

Starting around 1995 or so, midway through my college career, I pretty much stopped eating popcorn, except at the movies.* I stopped eating popcorn not because I stopped liking how it tasted but because I became repelled by how it smelled. Hot, fresh buttered popcorn smells quite delicious. However, burnt microwave popcorn smells horrible. Horrible. Plus, the smell of burnt microwave popcorn lingers and seeps into your hair and clothing (in the same way that the smell inside a Subway restaurant does--how did Jared go all those years with that Subway stank?). There was a microwave in one of the common rooms of my college dorm, and it was frequently used for microwave popcorn. I'm telling you, spend ten minutes in there after a fresh batch had just been popped, burnt or not, and you ought to take a shower if at all possible.

Now I admit I am extremely smell-sensitive. My husband actually gets angry/frustrated with me when I complain about particular scents because they either do not bother him at all, strike him as "not that bad," or are not strong enough for him to detect period. I can't help it though. My smeller is my smeller so I avoid eating at Subway and run like the wind if I smell Bath and Body Works Cherry Blossom lotion.

Loyal NTB readers know I am no purist when it comes to food and no stranger to convenience foods. I am sure if I knew how to pop popcorn the old fashioned way (I do not and fear I would burn my arm with hot oil if I tried and burnt flesh would have to smell worse than burnt microwave popcorn) or owned an air popper, I would have started eating popcorn again a lot sooner. With microwave popcorn as my main option, I had just cut it out of my life. Until recently . . .

For whatever reason, I am now so corny. I am eating popcorn like it is my job. I have learned that if you read the directions on the microwave popcorn package and actually listen for and time the pops toward the end, you can avoid burning it. I have also discovered this whole new world of microwave popcorn. There are, for example, these Orville Redenbacher Naturals. The bags are small (perfect for one, in my opinion) and come in cool flavors like "Buttery Garlic" (more buttery than garlic-y) and "Buttery Salt & Cracked Pepper" (very tasty, lots of pepper). Orville also makes a nice microwavable Kettle Corn that is low in fat.

Speaking of Kettle Corn, how did I never know how stinking fantastic it is? Sweet and salty. Salty and sweet. Just like me. Of late, my corny self is constantly craving Kettle Corn. Instead of popping it, I have been buying it in bags. I started out with the kind in the red bag made in Popcorn, IN (apparently such a place really exists). They sell it as CVS, which means I have an average of five chances per week to re-stock it as the Bub and I don't often go two days without visiting CVS. Then, I bought a bag of Kettle Corn at Trader Joe's, and I think I'm in love. The TJ's brand is a tad saltier and the kernels are much bigger. The greatest thing of all is that while Kettle Corn is not a health food, it is not all that bad for you. Say, for example, you polish off an entire (non single-serving) bag over the course of the day . . . it's nothing to be proud of but it's really only an extra 500 calories or so, which leaves you better off than if you ate a whole bag of chips.

I also really love caramel corn, and I am fortunate to live very, very close to the main location of Nuts on Clark which sells some awesome caramel corn. Kind of like me and Dunkin' Donuts though, I can't really go there. I don't trust myself to enjoy caramel corn or donuts except on special occasions. I could easily develop a daily donut or caramel corn habit, and I have to guard against such food obsessions as I have enough already (see this and this for proof).

And speaking of corny, PITA hooked me up with my own copy of one of my family's favorite films: The Parent Trap starring Hayley Mills and Hayley Mills. I could go on all day about how much I love the original Parent Trap. I found Hayley Mills' hair as Sharon to be beautiful and her hair as Susan to be dreadful (what a crime that Sharon's had to be cut). I never cease to be amused by the scene when Sharon and her camp friends cut the back of Susan's dress at the dance and you see her granny pants. I love when the twins sabotage their father's engagement on the camping trip. Obviously, I love the "Let's get together" musical number. If you haven't seen it, you should. I pray that the Bub, Baby Boy, and whomever else comes along humor me in a few years when I try to get them to enjoy this movie. The best thing about the DVD PITA bought me is that it also includes The Parent Trap II, also starring Hayley Mills and Hayley Mills, which was a Disney Sunday Night Movie when I was growing up. We taped it and watched it quite frequently as well. Good stuff.

So me so corny, but what about you? Any food obsessions to share or corny movies to recommend?

*I love how many theaters now have the butter-your-own popcorn machine. As Sandra Lee says whilst piping store-bought icing out of a ziploc bag, "Be generous."

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Pita here, I have also been tagged here on Not to Brag…to share six of my quirks. It seems that many of my sisters’ quirks also relate to me. For example, I would not be able to sleep at night if I knew my alarm clock was set to a time ending in a five or zero. The thought alone provides anxiety for me….I prefer the 1, 9, or 7. My personal favorite and the time I woke up for my first three years of work – 6:11. I do not, however, share an intrigue for baby monkeys or have misshapen toes … sorry LAP, but I will throw a NTB on the toes.

Here‘s what I got…
1. I perspire….a lot. This is not something that I am proud of; it is something I realize is just a part of my life. I sweat at all times, no matter what I am doing, what the temperature is, what fabric I am wearing and so on. I seem to have inherited this special characteristic from my Grandma P. She used to rig up special contraptions just to absorb some of her sweat output. Many a person has tried to give me “tidbits” to help my sweating problem, but to no avail. Additionally, as many of you know, deodorant manufactures have been releasing new “clinical strength” deodorants. I thought, “Those sound promising, I bet they will stop the sweat!” Not so much, took it down a notch – maybe. I have also tried a deodorant from the actual pharmacy, but after application I felt like it was burning my skin off, so I discontinued use. I actually had wash cloths in my armpits until the very moment I walked down the aisle at my wedding – who wants to see a bride that has pitted out?

2. I have a freakish memory. I have an exceptional ability to remember a lot of information. I can recall outfits worn; conversations had, and minute details. My mind has been compared to a steel trap. Not trying to brag here, but I was feeling a little down after putting my perspiration struggles in print.

3. I am not in to condiments so much. I don’t really care for condiments in a general sense. I can tolerate a few in isolation, however. I will dip fries or other items in ketchup, but I like to be in control of the application at all times. I don’t love mustard. I have been trying to like it lately, but I cannot say it is going well. Above all, I hate mayonnaise. You don’t know how many times I hear, “You sure you just want this sandwich dry?” Yes, I do.

4. I have had several skin tags. A skin tag? Yes, a skin tag is simply a small piece of skin that grows on your body. Seems harmless right? Generally speaking, they are pretty harmless. I have had a few on my arm and finger. I would say the crown jewel came when I was in 8th grade. See, I developed a skin tag under my right nostril. Yep, you read that correctly. So, for a month or two, I had a small ball of skin under my nose that resembled a booger. At least once a day, someone would say – “PITA, I think you have booger handing out of your nose.” I would answer , “ I wish, it is skin tag and can’t be wiped off. “

5. I don’t digest cream sauces. I think this is something that plagues many people. The first time I met my hubby’s family, they served fettuccine alfredo. Quite a predicament, do you eat it or do you say,” No, thank you. I don’t digest cream sauces.” Lucky for me it was served buffet style. I was able to apply a miniscule amount and then crossed my fingers.

6. I leave trash around. When asked what my hubby, Scooter, thought my quirks were. He answered with, “you leave trash around.” I was unaware of this. Not gross trash, like food, but small pieces of clutter he eventually has to throw away himself. Whatever.

Sorry about the length…I was sweatin’ this assignment at first, but hey, what else is new? NTB.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Have I Shared Too Much?

LAP here. OK, so I was tagged in MEP’s last blog to do a meme. From what I gather, this meme involves listing 6 quirks about myself. So, let me reveal my freaky ways…

1. My toes are way out of alignment. Let me attempt to describe this for you. We start out strong with the big toe. It appears normal in size and shape…nothing that would require a second glance. Next we have my second and third toes which I have always referred to as the twin towers. I know it is not unusual for your second toe to be taller than your big toe, but I don’t know the stats on toe number three being taller than the big toe as well, as is the case with my feet. What comes next is really what makes my feet look bizarre. Picture a five story building next to a skyscraper. That’s what my fourth toe is to my third. Ants could parachute off toe number three and get a thrilling fall before landing on my tiny fourth toe. I have to be careful when selecting dress shoes and sandals so as not to have a strap that lays on my foot in a way that gives the illusion that I only have three toes. Finally, my baby toe is extremely shy and hides behind toe number four. I pry it out when painting my toenails but otherwise allow it to remain a recluse.

2. I enjoy eating in the car. We’re not talking road trips here. Let me set the scene to present an example. At my last job, there were some periods of time where my lunch partner options were shaky at best. So, rather than subject myself to a lunch of discussing the Iraq war (again), listening to my needy cubemate tell about his unaffectionate wife (who I firmly believe was a lesbian), or eat in the dingy breakroom with my dieting friends (depressing), I often opted to eat in my car. There was a strip center about a half a mile from work that was not busy due to its main anchor moving out. So, I parked my car on the side of the building, facing the highway so I could watch cars if I so desired and ate my lunch in peace (sometimes with a magazine I’d packed or with the radio on). This could be done spring through fall, as long as there was some sunlight steaming through my windshield. Sounds pathetic perhaps, but those are some good memories. The best days of course being when I went through the McDonalds drive-thru for a post-meal McFlurry and savored that in the front seat of my car. One day, a fairly new, potentially cool coworker pulled up next to me, about to eat his lunch. He tried to tell me this was the first time he had ever done that, but I wasn’t buying it. He never did return to that spot though so he was either scared of me that I admitted to coming here regularly or else found himself a new spot.

3. I can burp the alphabet. Don’t know what else to say about that. I am not necessarily proud of that talent, but I like that people are surprised that I would even attempt such a thing. I try not to give performances very often as my body sometimes likes to keep going even after I get to “z.” Pleasant, ey?

4. I heart Frisch’s. The local Big Boy restaurant for those of you who might be unfamiliar. Sure, lots of people might like it, but I believe I am a tier above the “like” stage. The hamburger is the perfect size and is the only circumstance in which I consume tarter sauce. The fries are admittedly only average, but the vegetable soup makes for a nice substitute. Of course, the grand item for me is the Diet Vanilla Coke over perfectly crushed ice. I love it. I consume a couple cups while there and then like to get a to go cup when I leave. For the forty-five days following Halloween and Valentines Day, you can use kids coupons (purchased 8 for $1) to get free kids meals. We’ve been known to go weekly during that time. It especially works out well around Halloween when my husband can order some pumpkin pie, sometimes splitting a whole pie with wall builder M. Myself, I prefer the hot fudge cake if I am going to go with dessert. Yum. There are suckers for kids on the way out which can serve well as incentives for eating and staying seated through the meal.

5. I have a thing for cash registers. As if points 1-4 don’t make me sound odd enough, I will reveal that I love playing with cash registers. Perhaps that’s why I chose accounting as it’s one of the few professional jobs that allows me to display my speed on the numeric keypad…a skill honed in my cash register hayday. It started with the Buddy L toy cash register as a child. I made PITA purchase items before bed, threatening that we couldn’t have the night light on in our room unless she did. I graduated to a push button old school register no longer being used at the AmeriStop gas station my dad’s friend owned. Finally, when I showed no signs of giving up my cash register playing habits, my parents broke down and bought me one of the electronic ones I used to play with on trips to Sam’s Club. I had a system for entering UPC codes and prices, making receipts, running through my pretend charge cards, and accepting returns. I once told a partner at my public accounting firm that if someday years from now he sees me working at a checkout lane, not to feel sorry for me. I asked him to instead think to himself that I’m finally living my dream. Of course, truth be told, the dream as I knew it is dead thanks to scanners. There’s no fun in scanning. Cashiers don’t even get to ask cash, check or charge anymore. Still, I have my electronic register in storage in our basement and will only bring it out when I feel like Fancy and Swiper are old enough to treat it with the care it deserves.

6. I never set my alarm to a rounded number. I mention this only because it never ceases to amaze my husband. I am orderly about so many other things in life that it seems out of character. My alarm will never say 6:30, 7:00, or 7:45. Instead, some common wake-up times through the years have been 6:21, 7:01, or 7:44.

Sorry for the long length of this one. Perhaps you didn’t need so many details about my quirks but sometimes I don’t know when to stop.

Friday, August 8, 2008

"Meme"bers Only, but what club are we talking about?

First off, quick update. Life with an infant and toddler is tough, but I can honestly say our little family had a really good week. There was a low point or two (like when the Bub kicked Baby Boy--also, the licking continues), but I feel like I am gaining confidence and that patterns are starting to emerge that help me to keep things organized. Of course, our house is still a mess, the birth announcements I started addressing three weeks ago are still not sent, and my dissertation is still not finished (surprising, given the 75 minutes per day I have to myself and the fact that I need to eat and straighten up my piles of clutter during that time). However, I feel good about myself and my life. NTB.

A few weeks ago, I was tagged for a meme by Bailey of I'm not saying, I'm just saying. What's a meme? I'm not exactly sure, and I was going to research it but I don't have the energy. Read below and draw your own conclusions.

First the rules:
1. Link the person who tagged you
2. Mention the rules on your blog
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours
4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.

6 Unspectacular Quirks of Mine:

1. I am intrigued/repelled by baby monkeys. The smaller the baby monkey, the more I want to cringe and yet the more I want to look. My college roommate had a book that included a photo of a monkey so tiny that it was wrapped around a human finger. I think it's the idea of something tiny, human-like, and yet also furry that gets to me. When I was a high school teacher, my students used to bring me pictures of monkeys and I had a sort of wall of fame of creepy monkeys. I forgot that until right now. I perpetuated a false rumor amongst my co-workers that I had a tattoo of a baby monkey on my butt cheek. At a happy hour (I was not intoxicated), a guidance counselor (who happened to be the superintendent's wife) even made a show of going into a bathroom stall with me to verify the existence of the tattoo. For the record, there is no tattoo. NTB.

2. I am annoying about my pop. By pop, I mean soda. Diet Coke is my pop of choice, and I love it dearly. I am one of those people who cringes and makes a mini fuss when the server says those dreaded three words, "Diet Pepsi okay?" Diet Pepsi is only okay if I'm really hard up. Indeed, for most restaurants I frequent, I already know in advance whether they serve Coke or Pepsi products. If I am in the mood for California Pizza Kitchen, for example, I have to decide if the deliciousness of the Barbecue Chicken Chopped Salad makes up for the fact that they only have Pepsi. Subway used to be on my permanent "do not enter" list, but now that they have Coke products, I would at least consider entering a Subway.

3. I make mean faces but I don't mean to do it. When I was a sophomore in high school, my English teacher stopped class and all of sudden says to me, "I was grocery shopping last night, and I saw a poster for Goody hairbrushes. The girl in the poster had beautiful hair. She looked a lot like you except she was smiling, and you never smile." I never smile? It's not that I don't smile. I actually have a great smile, NTB. However, this incident has remained with me for years. I didn't realize it at the time, but I now know that when I am concentrating (as in a classroom setting), I have an odd expression that others might think is mean. Now, when when I'm at a meeting, in a class, or in conversation, I remind myself to relax my face and make it clear that I am an active, receptive, encouraging listener. If you ever see or talk to me and I look pissed off, I am probably not pissed off.

4. Dick Clark kissed me on my 21st birthday. NTB? I'll just let you imagine why and how that happened.

5. I repeat myself. Because I have spent the last seven years as a graduate student in the Humanities and more recent years taking care of a toddler, I fear I have lost valuable social and conversational skills. I think I'm an interesting, witty, intelligent person, but when I am actually out with other adults in a social setting, I no longer know what to do with myself. I have trouble generating topics of conversation that don't have to do with reality television, which troubles me because I actually read books and have thoughts and such. When I do join in a conversation, I have noticed that I now repeat myself. It's not so much that I tell the same stories over and over. It's that I will make a statement and then immediately repeat that same exact thought (maybe changing a couple of words for emphasis). I am my own echo. Why? Do I want to make sure I'm heard? Am I so in love with my words I wantto repeat them? Am I so socially awkward now that I need to re-test my sentences to double check they are okay? I don't know. I'm working on it though.

6. My urine and sweat smell like maple syrup. This situation is not permanent, but it is annoying. As advised by a lactation consultant, I take an herb called Fenugreek to help keep my milk supply up. The herb works for me, but by the end a summer day, you might mistake me for a pancake. Actually, I could have written my meme all about my breastfeeding quirks. I'll save them for later.

Okay, that's all I got. Were these all "quirks"? Maybe not, but I did what I could.

Now, I tag the following bloggers:

LAP from Not to brag . . .
PITA from Not to brag . . .
E . . . from It's A Small World After All
Actchy from Beyond Pickles
Cake from Whistling Leaf Blower
Steph from Steph's Cup of Tea

Smell you later and, given number six, smell me later for sure.

Friday, August 1, 2008

What do you do?

LAP here. As a CPA, I can’t say that there are many “fun facts” about my realm of employment, particularly with the 5-10 hours a week I work these days. Of course, there are plenty of stories about my former coworkers that make The Office seem more plausible than some might think. Perhaps I will devote a future post to outlining quirky folks such as my colleague in public accounting who organized his undershirt and sock drawers using a “FIFO” method (first-in, first-out…accounting lingo for those of you bored already). He explained that by doing so, all his clothing staples experienced equal wear and tear. Not only did this make me chuckle, but it also resulted in making me feel like the most easygoing and laid back person ever (by contrast of course) which was refreshing.

Let me return to my original point in writing this: I am fascinated by what other people do for a living. This is particularly true when a person deals with tangible products directed at the consumer. I find myself asking people the same types of questions, all which feed my craving of useless, yet easily digestible tidbits of information. A few examples:

1. My neighbor fills vending machines for a living. I’m not sure how all the logistics work. I know he has a conversion van filled with coolers for his delivery runs. I know he refreezes his ice packs each night to prep for the next day’s run. It’s not uncommon to see him tinkering with a coke vending machine in his garage, though I don’t believe he owns all the machines he services.
My hard-hitting question for him: What are your best sellers?
His responses:
1. Snickers (said without hesitation)
2. Peanut M&M’s (my husband and I suspect people are looking for that salty/sweet combo)
3. Tie between the classic Reese Cup and 3 Musketeer. He noted that the latter has made a surge of late. He believes the dieting ladies in some of the offices he services have embraced it as a low-cal candy bar choice

Coke outsells Pepsi by a ratio of 3:1. Diet Coke is his best seller overall, passing Coke in recent years.

2. Wall-building neighbor M is a pharmacist who works at a mail-in center. I asked him the most popular drugs he refills and he responded (in the translated layman’s terms) that medication for high blood pressure and medication for depression seem to be the most common.

3. A friend of my father’s owns several “drive-thrus” here in Ohio. I’ve found that this is sometimes a difficult concept for outsiders to comprehend, as such businesses are illegal in some states. However, it’s simply a convenience store that you can drive your car through. You can purchase items such as milk, eggs, etc. but these aren’t the most popular go-to items in such a store. To be gentle, let me say that 75% of the drive-thrus owned by this particular man are not located in family friendly parts of town. I never worked at them but some family members have through the years. Can you guess what two buttons worn to the core on the register? Marlboros and Mountain Dew. Classy. This is the kind of data I find interesting.

4. Finally, my friend’s family owns a Dairy Queen in a small town in Indiana. She spent her teen years working there. I asked the most popular item on the menu and she promptly responded with “Blizzards.” When pressed for a most popular flavor, she settled on Oreo. However, she mentioned that the power of suggestion is alive and well. She found it humorous that whatever item was advertised on the DQ sign out front (“Come in for a Brownie Blizzard!” “Have you had a Banana Split lately?” “Try our Dipped Cones!”) was a top seller for that time period. Keep in mind that said item was never on sale, it was simply recommended. I also enjoyed that during her time as a trainee of new employees, she had to teach the technique of getting the signature DQ curly tip on the ice cream just right. She noted that time and again, the girls picked up this skill much faster than the boys.

So, do you do anything that would provide me with equally earth shattering consumer information? I’d love to know all about it.
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