Matt heard these guys on WXPN and they are awesome!
Cockroaches January 29, 2008
**Please proceed–there are no photos in this post**
This is the story of my long-term relationship with cockroaches. It all began back in an apartment in Kichijoji, Japan. Roaches are common in Tokyo. Your house could be as clean as your Italian grandmother’s and the roaches come anyway, and they aren’t shy. They would pop out in the middle of the day and just crawl up the walls. My family ended up spending a lot of time in Japan, so we got used to these cockroaches, which I believe are this species. We learned what Japanese roach traps looked like, how they worked, and we hid them everywhere in all of the different the houses we lived in.
A few years later, when I moved into my own apartment in center city Philadelphia, I met a different kind of cockroach. The first time I met one, I had just moved in and I still didn’t have a bed. I was lying on my mattress on one side of the room, and heard a strange scratching sound. On the other side of the room was my nemesis, the gigantic water bug of a roach that was casually skittering across the floor. It was so huge I couldn’t kill it so I trapped it under a cup. I found one of his siblings in my bathroom not long after, and his fate was the same. Luckily, the cups I used were plastic. They stayed under those cups for at least a week and didn’t die. They met their demise when my parents came to visit and my dad actually cut a hole in the tops of the cups and sprayed a lethal amount of roach spray down into the cup.
Luckily, in the next apartment I lived in with Matt, the only wildlife we had to deal with was a family of mice. Then we moved into the suburbs and I thought that I had finally ended my relationship with the cockroach.
A few weeks ago, the cockroach came back into my life. I was at work and went to the ladies room, and there it was, just hanging out on the toilet seat. The exterminator was called, and all of us women in the basement were relieved that we didn’t have to walk upstairs to use the ladies room. Yesterday, I was in the same stall doing my business, I turned my head, and there he was again, on the bathroom stall’s wall, staring at me. I fled, and the exterminator was called again. Later that day we were again assured that the cockroach was taken care of, but he showed himself again later in the day, and then he brought two of his friends to hang out.
Oh, Mr. Cockroach. What will it take for you to realize that I have had enough? It’s over! I never want to see you again! But until you get it, I will continue to walk up to the third floor to use the ladies room.
This is my dedication to you, Mr. Cockroach. You have kept my life interesting and you have made me a stronger person in the process. But I still want you to go away.
Valentine’s Day Jewelry Showcase January 28, 2008
Starbucks is Slummin it with the Shorts. January 24, 2008
Did I ever tell you about the time I went to the Starbucks down the street from my apartment, when I was still buying coffee at Starbucks, and asked for a short latte? It was like I had single-handedly increased the national security code from green to red. Why? Because the short size at Starbucks is so secret, so mysterious, that the sheer mention of it causes every barista’s heart to skip a beat.
I started going to Starbucks when I lived in Japan. Their sizes are short, tall, and grande. There is no venti. No super-sizing in that culture. So when I came back to the U.S. and went to my first American Starbucks, I was a little confused. What is this venti? Where’s my short? It wasn’t on the menu so I figured it was the typical American trait of making everything twice as big as it should be. And I never questioned it.
Until I read about a book on Starbucks being written by Temple University Professor Bryant Simon that a few years ago was getting a lot of press. The New Yorker did a piece on it, and then Slate came out with the article that changed my life forever. The short does exist! And you can actually ask for it and get it if you are willing to stand your ground and do a little mind manipulation (which, for the staff in American Starbucks, is easier than it sounds).
I eventually stopped going to Starbucks. In the city, there are so many independent coffee shops that are more fun, have more character, and frankly, serve much better coffee. I forgot about my indignation concerning the elusive short size and went on with my life.
This morning, though, I read that Starbucks is now marketing the short to compete with McDonalds and Dunkin Donuts. Wait a minute, what? What is the world coming to? I have this secret fear that somehow this turn of events will influence Starbucks as we know it. It will no longer be the coffeehouse for clones. It will become a Regular Joe’s cup of joe. And then I might be forced to once more enter those golden gates and get my short without having to fight for it. And where’s the fun in that?
Horrible Advertising January 23, 2008
I saw this ad on the train this week and was totally disgusted. Usually when you see this kind of advertising there’s some kind of “punchline” or extra statement that kind of “takes back” what the ad is trying to convey but this one didn’t. It’s just exactly what it says.
Effective advertising? I think not.
The Knot January 21, 2008
Oh my gosh. The Knot is an amazing and wonderful beast. My jewelry site, Simple Bangles, was all over the local Philadelphia board today, which resulted in 252 hits to my site! Unbelievable! Then everyone started coming out of the woodwork with their “side businesses” and this new site was born by the end of the day, created by a lovely knottie veteran: Knotties Helping Knotties
This is a site basically for women planning their weddings in and around the Philadelphia area, but many of the resources can be used elsewhere. I can vouch for all of the women who run these businesses–help them become successful!