Thursday, September 9, 2010

Returning from the Dark Side- Wal-marts Can Go to Hell

Houston is all in an up-roar about the potential of ANOTHER Wal-mart being built in a quant little area of town known simply as "The Heights". This is a small, historical area of town that has a very diverse population. It is an up and coming community that is somewhat costly to live in, but it has that "un-spoiled" feel about it. It still has trees, neighbors know each other, and your kids can play outside without fear of being snatched up. It is so unique and full of all these small mom-and-pop shops that you can lazily walk about on Saturday mornings. Wal-mart has threatened to come in and destroy the very essence of this neighborhood.

Spokespeople from Wally-Hell talk about how they are going to build a Wal-mart that fits in with the vision of The Heights. Well that is just crap. There is no such thing. That is like saying you're going to make Lebron James fit in at a KKK meeting.

Most of you already know my feelings about Walmart. Most people think I'm a little *ahem* crass, but I noticed lately that others have joined the f-Walmart bandwagon. I read this awesome blogpost in the city newspaper this morning about another woman's disallusionment with this store. She has lived long enough to know what Wal-mart was before it became the Anti-Christ. Also, I don't want to hear any back talk about how it's not affordable to shop anywhere else. This woman has NINE kids and still finds better bargins elsewhere. Bravo lady.

It is kind of ironic that my own Mother used to work for Sam Walton (read: NOT WAL-MART). She grew up near Bentonville, Arkansas (birthplace to this pit of doom.) She used to pick peaches for him when his stores were wholesome places, not blood-sucking, community killers. She told me that stories of him driving her to the little soda shop in town at the end of the week as long as she worked hard and didn't talk to "those no good boys". She remembers those summers fondly.

Wal-Mart before it became the Anti-Christ.

I'm sure Mr. Walton didn't envision his store ruining small town America. I mean, his shop was ma-and-pa at one time. Too bad his successors only cared about money. There have been acutal studies, like one by Kenneth Stone, a Professor of Economics at Iowa State University, that found that some small towns can lose almost half of their retail trade within ten years of a Wal-Mart store opening. Great. All this cheap, plastic crap, but nobody has a job to buy it. It's like a virus...a 197,000 square foot (on average) virus.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Weddings Make Women Lose Their Minds...

I recently had my first bridal shower, and let me just say, "It is official, I have lost my mind." I got the bright idea to let everyone else handle the food for the shower except the little mini fondant cakes I wanted to make. Well, naturally it turned out a huge mess that went down something like this:

T'was the Night before the shower and all through the kitchen
women were cursing, and screamin' and bitchin'!

Mom lost the fondant cookie cutters, and my bright idea to use cutters to make little round cakes didn't pan out. The cut-outs just crumbled into little pieces everywhere. My aunts, who were hosting the shower, were ready to give up and buy store bought cakes. I could not bring myself to give up though, so I made a plea to start over making cupcakes instead. We tossed out the two, crumbled cake-messes that we had attempted to turn into something cute and respectable, and dashed off to the store for cupcake holder thingys. Well, my mom did because she was so upset about losing the fondant cutters that she needed to clear her head.

I, on the other hand, set about to rolling and cutting out fondant circles in preparation for later. So, after a few more hours of baking, we had some cute, little fondant-covered cupcakes. Mom went out and bought more little cutters, but we failed to get pictures with all the cute designs because we had 40 cupcakes to go. So basically you see the base coat here:

I somehow managed to get fondant all over my feet. Don't ask me how.

Because I was sucha horse's ass about having these things meticulously perfect, my lovely aunts went about other pressing duties...

Aunt Loyce, finger sandwich extraordinaire! (and Official Butt Swatter. Apparently I tried to help too much.)

Acting as sous chef, housekeeping, and family matriarch was Aunt Pat.

Official title: Watermelon Fruit Bowl Maker
Between the four of us arguing for an hour, we finally decided on my Grandmother's buffet as the official tea holding location. (The theme was a tea party.)

Me and Mum share a spot of tea.

Then the party started, it was craziness. The cupcakes and sandwiches were hoowarfed down in no time because 31 of the 37 people invited showed up. Let me just say that this was NOT AT ALL EXPECTED because:

a.) I'm a horse's ass and a bad friend. So naturally, I didn't expect that many people to come. What a surprise this was:
That's not all of it either, there are packages behind me as well.

I also had an incredible game planner. She took tired, old shower games and breathed new life into them. They were hilarious and fun for all!

Glee fanatic, Gingerific gal-pal Samantha (Matron of Honor Extraordinaire!)

Here is a picture of one of her games, where people had to memorize what was on my apron and try to remember when I left the room. The person who remembered the most wins. Knowing that I love to cook, she made everything cooking related, and bird-themed, like the wedding. Truly awesome!

There was the inevitable opening of gifts, in which I tried hard to make it interesting so people didn't get bored out of their minds. There was the bow incident...

A near disaster with Jon's mother grew concerned when I mentioned that he and I had to argue about registering for some towels. I had said that I knew standard towels wouldn't fit around him because he is such a big guy.  Side NoteHe wanted to register for one towel for each of us, and ones that were so small that it wouldn't go around him. I insisted on "bath sheets" and added a few more to the registry behind his back. Seeing Jon's mother's uneasiness my mom calls out, "How do you know a regular towel won't fit around him..."

 Thanks Mom for calling me out. (Sam saved the day: "Ummm, hello! THE POOL!")

I was totally embarrassed and tried to hide in said bath sheet.

 So other than that, all went well. When the boys started sneaking around for a sandwich, they found all the food gone and had to fend for themselves. I got a kitchen full or neato gadgets that I am itching to try out. I am thinking up my next challenge as I type...something involving using every new gadget I just got and chronicling its use here. Whew what a day! I couldn't have imagined a more perfect shower. It was beautiful, I felt beautiful. I felt so loved by all the special women in my life.