Saturday, January 31, 2015

If Everying I Did Today Was a Click-bait Headline

Even when I'm aware of the tricks marketers are using to get me to buy stuff, I sometimes fall for them anyway—willingly even. If a salesperson pretends she thinks I'm ten years younger than I really am, I will buy almost anything she's selling. I have at least a thousand of those little cookbooks they put next to the People and US magazines, that I've bought while waiting in the grocery check-out line. Once I even purchased six gallons of ice cream at one time because I saved a few cents—but only if I bought six.

The evil practice of clickbait, however, is one marketing scheme I will not fall for. Whenever I encounter a vague headline promising something unbelievable or intriguing, I refuse to so much as acknowledge its existence. Clickbait is the lowest form of marketing, designed only to garner clicks resulting in sub-par content which then translates into increased revenue for the website. I never click on clickbait.

Well . . . almost never.

Today, after clicking to find out the amazing thing one woman does with crayons that will change my life (she makes her own lipstick), I wondered how much more exciting my average day would sound if it was made up of clickbait-style headlines.

I Slept Until 8:13am and When You See What I Did Next, Oh My Gosh!

It's Saturday, so I slept in. I didn't have anything forcing me out of bed, so I checked Facebook. I even updated my status, all before getting out of bed. Can you believe it?

I Opened the Dryer and What I found? This Was Seriously Cool!

When I looked in the dryer, I found my clean workout clothes. I picked what I needed for my Pilates DVD, dressed and was ready in minutes. You know how cool it is that I remembered to put the wet clothes in the dryer before I went to bed so I wouldn't have to fish out stinky, sweaty clothes from the laundry basket to wear? That's right: Seriously Cool.

It Looks Like I'm Cooking Eggs and Turkey Bacon But What I'm Really Doing? Pure Genius!

I'm not always this efficient, but today while my bacon and eggs were cooking, I unloaded the dishwasher at the same time. By the time I was done making and eating my meal, I could put all my dirty dishes right into the empty dishwasher. They should give me a Nobel Prize.

You Won't Believe Why I'm Putting On Makeup This Morning. The Answer is Astounding!

I plan to head downtown to a trendy little boutique to buy some shoes, but I don't think the sales person will take me seriously if I don't look cute, so I'm accessorizing and wearing make-up. I can't believe I'm caving to societal norms like a sheep. Baa!

These Look Like Normal Jeans, but When You Find Out Where I Got Them, Unreal!

Part of my cute outfit requires me to wear my favorite jeans. But my favorite jeans are not folded up, neatly, in a drawer. They're at the bottom of my laundry basket. I take them out, sniff them, and put them on anyway. A huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders by admitting this.

When I Checked the Mail, I Never Expected to Find This. My Brain Hurts!

After I got home from buying shoes (suede booties, thank you very much), I checked the mail. There were quite a few things in the mailbox, including a package from China. But the piece of mail that really made my head hurt was the 1099 Tax Form for "miscellaneous income" or in other words, the trip to Hawaii I won back in March. Ouch.

I Looked in The Fridge to Find Something For Dinner. What I Saw Left Me Mortified!

I thought we'd have left over curried cauliflower soup for dinner tonight, but when I looked in the fridge, I saw there wasn't enough for everyone to have some. This means I have to figure out something else for dinner. Shoot me now.

When I Saw What Was On The Floor of the Kids' Bathroom, No Way!

The day is done. The kids are in bed and the doors are locked. Now it's just time to turn out the lights and hit the sack. But when I went to the boys' bathroom, I found the floor littered with dirty clothes and wet towels left there after showers. I can't even . . .

The take-away, you must agree, is that if you are ever discouraged by your normal life, try spicing things up by describing it with clickbait headlines. It will turn your day from average and boring, to soap opera-exciting. Language is a powerful thing.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Every Time You Make Salad in a Jar, a Kitten Dies

Using canning jars for things other than canning is a hot trend. With a little electrical wiring knowledge you can turn canning jars into pendant lights for your farmhouse-style kitchen. In the bathroom your jar can become a soap dispenser. You can paint them and put candles in them and bake little cakes in them and even drink out of them because looking like a Hillbilly is also a hot trend.

I'm a purist and think that canning jars should be used for their intended purpose: Canning. Every so often I will use one to hold some homemade salad dressing or spice mix, but for the most part, I use canning jars only for canning, the way the Good Lord intended.

I will not lie—these "cute" canning jar crafts get me a little riled, but there is one use of a canning jar that just puts me over the edge. It is the salad-in-a-jar.

(Oh boy . . . here I go!)

Salad does not belong in a canning jar. Period.

Salad needs to be tossed and mixed and when you jam pack a jar right up to the top with salad ingredients, tossing and mixing become impossible. This is why for hundreds of years, people have eaten salads in bowls. We even have bowls just for eating salad. They're called Salad Bowls. You can buy them in sets or one at a time. You can get a big bowl for a big salad, or little bowls for small salads. The structure of the bowl allows for tossing and mixing so all the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Sometimes you might want to take a salad with you to work or a picnic. For these occasions, we have bowls with lids. It's a clever idea and very convenient for portable salad making.

My second, and probably most important salad-in-a-jar gripe, is the fork to jar ratio. I assume that if you go to the trouble of making a salad in a jar, and then follow that up with photographing your salad in a jar, you probably intend to EAT your salad in a jar. But standard sized fork will be just about as tall as your Ball quart. So while your first few bites of misguided jar salad could be easily attainable, your mid-level bites will become awkward and messy as fork holding area gets smaller and smaller.

By the time you are at the remaining bites of salad, which, by the looks of any salad-in-a-jar picture on the internet, will be the only ones with salad dressing, your fingers will only be able to grip the very tip of the fork handle as you try and fish out the chunks of cucumber, radish or chicken. Your hand can not fit in the jar, so there is no way you can dig deeper in that jar than the length of the fork will allow you to go.

I concede that some may use the salad-in-a-jar folly as a clever way to store individual salads and when eating time arrives, they get dumped in a bowl. Friends, this just creates extra dishes to wash. Grab yourself the bowl you plan to eat the salad out of, make your salad in that bowl, and cover it with a lid. I've just saved you one jar to wash.

You're welcome.

I realize it is fun to make our food look adorable, and putting salad in a jar is undeniably adorable. Google Images is filled with hundreds of thousands of pictures of everyone's attempt at making salad in a jar. But what you don't see on google images is anyone eating salad in a jar. Or at least not down to the bottom of the jar.

This leads me to believe that people who make and eat salad-in-a-jar are so embarrassed by their participation in this utterly inefficient hot trend, that they are not speaking out for fear of looking like a fool whose common sense is blinded by adorable hot trends.

People, please stop making salad in jars. Use a bowl and we will never mention this shameful period of hot trend history again.