Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Best Waitress Ever!

So as mentioned a couple posts ago, Michael and I were up at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon recently. Since this was an exploratory trip, we decided to stay at the Grand Canyon Lodge for one night. It's a cool historic lodge with a stone sun deck that has an amazing view of the canyon. As we walked onto the deck, a cocktail waitress came up to us and asked us, "Do you want something to drink as you enjoy the view?" Well of course we did! I didn't know they would bring us cocktails out there. So we each ordered a bloody mary (a National Park classic). When she asked what kind of vodka I wanted, I answered Skyy. She was so disappointed to tell me that they don't carry that as it is her favorite mixing vodka too. But they had Ketel One, so all was good.

By looking at this rustic lodge, one would not think that such a great service would be offered. I've been at super sweet resorts poolside and not been able to hail down a drink for an hour. Anyway, this is not what made this waitress so great. As she kept bringing us drinks, she was always making funny remarks and managed to find us no matter where we moved.

Then the best thing happened. Some older chunky lady next to us ordered a Bud Light.

Our waitress responded, "You don't want a Bud Light."
To which the lady said, "What do you mean?"
"We have better beers than that. You are away from home why don't you try something new?" Then she listed out about 3 other beers that would be comparable style-wise to Bud Light, but much better tasting.
The lady said, "No thanks, I'll just stick with my Bud Light."
The waitress said, "Alright, I guess if that's what you want," and left to put in the order.

She was so great. She tried to talk this lady out of ordering crappy beer. I've been in bars so many times when there is a huge selection of great beers and someone orders a Bud Light. I've wished at those times that the bartender would let them know that they are FOOLS for ordering such a sad beer when there are much better options out there. Bud Light, if it must be drunk at all, is for those times when there are no other options or you want to drink from breakfast until midnight. Otherwise, it shouldn't even be offered and I think that was exactly what this waitress was conveying. BRAVO!!!!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Does This Pizza Make Me Look Fat?

So how many times are fast food restaurants and processed foods blamed for childhood obesity? And how many times have fashion magazines, supermodels and Hollywood been blamed for giving young girls eating disorders and bad body images? OK, take all that and throw it out the window.
So I'm at Sweet Tomatoes (like Fresh Choice and Souplantation) today and behind me in line is a mother with her teenaged daughter and son. The other side of the salad bar is empty and the mom suggests to the girl that she go on the other side. She says,
"No, salad will fill me up and then I won't be able to eat anything else."
So I think that maybe she doesn't want a bunch of lettuce. But then throughout the whole line, she is commenting on the size of her mom's salad as being huge. When we get to the cashier, the girl has nothing on her plate. This is a really great and varied salad bar, too; it's not just lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers. Along with the usual suspects, it has beets, bell peppers, corn, jicama, banana squash, zucchini and many other vegetables. Also, there is plain pasta, grilled chicken, chickpeas, kidney beans and some low-calorie prepared salads. It would be extremely easy to have a nutritious and low calorie lunch at this place. Also, if you want something hot, there are plain sweet and idaho baked potatoes, 8 soups (half of them vegetarian), whole grain breads and hot pasta. But does this girl take any of that. No! She loads up on pizza. They have one kind of pizza: pepperoni. It's cut into 1" x 3" slices; it is meant as a side dish, not an entree. But that's all she takes. No vegetables, no lean proteins, no soups, nothing nutritious that Sweet Tomatoes offers.

I'm sure when she gets home and puts on her jeans she'll wonder why they make her look fat:
"Why can't I be skinny like the girls in Cosmo? I'll never be that skinny! My world is over!"

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Fools for the Canyon

So Michael and I headed up to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon this weekend. We checked out the North Kaibab National Forest to do some car camping on the rim. We drove out on FR 214 and went out to Parissawampitts Point. It is a pretty good view through the trees of the Grand Canyon along the Rainbow Rim Trail. There is a decent campsite at the point about 75 feet away from the rim.
We were considering camping there when two young hippy/backpacker types pulled up in a passenger car about 5 feet away from our car. There was plenty of other room to park, so I didn't know why they pulled up right next to us. We had our doors open and were checking out the campsite. I smiled at them and they barely smiled back. They got out and looked at the trail map and then came back to their car and sat in it looking at maps for about 10 minutes. It was very awkward. We didn't want to interrogate them to find out if they planned on staying and they didn't initiate any conversation with us.
So then they started the car and moved it another 10 feet away from us. The guy got out of the car and took out a couple backpacks, rooted around for a bit in the trunk and pulled out a cooler. Then they got on some jackets, put everything back in the car and headed out to the trail. Michael and I were thoroughly confused and then we started getting pissed off that a couple of yahoos were trying to bogart our campsite. They had no wood; we had lots of wood. They looked wimpy and the possibility of them trying to "share" our fire became clear. I didn't feel like being social with quiet weirdos, so we headed back to explore more points (there are quite a few points).
After a couple more points, we found the PERFECT site. It was heavenly. The rock fire ring was about 30 feet away from the edge of the canyon and it was so private and not just at the end of an easy-to-get-to dirt road. A passenger car would have had some problems getting through some of the muddy pits through which we drove. As we unpacked our gear, we scolded ourselves for trying to camp at such as easy spot without doing much exploring (Parissawampitt is in Frommers!). It's so unlike us not to explore the area. Those hippies did us a HUGE favor by kicking us in the butts and reminding us to look around and the perfect site will be found!

Friday, May 22, 2009

I'm a Celebrity and I Have Kids: I'm Writing a Children's Book!

So I see on TV that Julianne Moore is releasing her second children's book, Freckleface Strawberry and the Dodgeball Bully. What is the deal with celebrities writing children's books? It's just another way for them to stroke their egos and for stupid celebrity lovers to buy something just because it has a famous name on it. Why do celebrities have to do everything now-a-days? What happened to celebrating people who perfect their art and craft through a lifetime of dedication? There are people out there that focus on being just one really great person, be it a musician, author, painter, designer etc. Why do celebrities have to cash in on everyone's dreams and careers? Do they all have to be mega-millionaires and known by every age group?
The celebrity use of children's books particular drives me crazy because they all think they have this knew and fresh take on the genre. Why? Because either they were children themselves (like all of us have been) or they've had children (like 95% of the population). So by those qualifications, everyone on the planet can write a children's book that would bring a fresh perspective to the genre.

Question: What inspired you to create the character Freckleface Strawberry?

Julianne More: Freckleface Strawberry was a childhood nickname of mine. It was a name based on my copious amounts of freckles and long red hair. I found the name tragic and humiliating at the time--but with some distance (see above) it has become wildly amusing. So really these stories are based on my own childhood experiences and a sense of being at the center of my own drama--with a little of my kids' drama thrown in!

The main reason I have a problem with celebrity children's books in general is that there are already so many great children's books written by professional authors that have stood the test of time. Hello, Dr. Seuss? There are only so many years to grasp the attention of little readers and listeners, that I think the plethora of children's books on the market already satisfies and excedes the need.
Do we really need children's books by the following celebrities (yes, these are actually available): Larry King, Madonna, Jerry Seinfeld, John Travolta, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jeff Foxworthy and way too many more to list?