Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Clean-up Conundrum

So, every so often my thoughts travel to random, mundane places, and I am choosing to share one of these trips with all of you (more accurately, all three of you out there-thanks for visiting).

Up until a few years ago, if one needed to purchase paper towels, the only decision to make at the grocery store was whether to go with Brawny (helloooo-can you say pretty attractive for a paper towel illustration!) or to sensibly select the store brand (I'm oversimplifying here, but humor me). This was typically an easily enough decision to make (Brawny man, duh!), and I'm sure not a whole lot of people gave much more thought to the paper towel choice after it was safely placed on the holder.

Fast forward a few years. In addition to the plethora of paper towel options that have been added in the interim, namely brands, prints, styles, single or double ply, the mammoth pack, or the I'm-single-and-only-need-one-roll-at-a-time version, a new contestant has entered the ring: the select-a-size paper towel.

"Oh how lovely!" some of you thought to yourselves happily upon first sight of it. "Now I have the option of using just a little bit of paper towel when I have an oh-so-small mess to clean up, and not wasting the other half of my perforated sheet!" Seems like a good idea, right? Well, not so fast, I say.

What about those of us who would like to use a small amount of paper towel, but not pay twice as much for about half the amount? What do we do? (I just love that they try to trick us by mentioning the number of sheets in those rolls, btw.)

Well, unfortunately, I don't think there is a good answer for this injustice. I have yet to see a generic brand of select-a-size paper towel on the market. (If any of you know otherwise, please kindly inform me.) Instead, I'm stuck doing the same thing I've done for some time now: ripping a perfectly good perforated sheet in half to use after washing my hands, because I don't need a full sheet and can't justify wasting half of it.

Is anyone out there feeling the same way? Or are you the one who comes to our house, sees the jaggedly ripped sheet and thinks, "Poor things, they probably can't afford Brawny's Select-A-Size"?

Oh well, I guess the hard-hit economy affects some of us in more noticeable ways than others.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

No Night Dome Light? Right?

12 years ago I turned 16 and found independence and confusion. All thanks to that lovely little laminated license.

The first time I was driving with my friends at night, one of them turned on the dome light.

My immediate reaction was obviously to yell "Turn it off - we'll get in a wreck!"

Because for some reason, that's what my parents always said. I grew up believing that if a light is on inside the car at night, then the driver can't see outside. So you can turn the light on for the same length of time you'd be comfortable riding your bike with your eyes closed, if you will.

Then something strange happened. I could SEE. In fact, I could see everything just as clearly as I could when the dome light was off. Like riding a bike with your eyes open, if you will.

So what's the deal? Did older cars have super-advanced glass that reacted to interior light by transforming into a black wall? Did my parents just not want us to see anything all those years? Were they ashamed of us kids to the point that they didn't want anyone to see inside our car?

I still haven't figured it out. But rest assured that I spent the remainder of my teenage years driving with the dome light on, 24/7. Because I was independent.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Mexican Food at Wal-Mart

The other day, Laura and I were at Wal-Mart. (Sorry, haters.)

As I went to find some Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce (an obvious staple), I couldn't help but notice the two different food section signs hanging above the aisle:

"Hispanic Food" and "Latino Food"

What? Really? Ok, that's new. Well, I figured I'd get to the bottom of it and figure out what was going on.

After 10 seconds of intensive field study, I had ascertained the following:

Hispanic Food is apparently what we call Salsa. That's all.
I imagine someone from Spain might happen upon that section while visiting the tourist-attraction supercenter, and think, "Oh yeah, there's our food. Exactly like what we have back in our Hispanic homeland."

The Latino Food section is a bit more diverse, including the likes of Taco Bell brand refried beans, Taco Bell brand taco shells, Taco Bell brand hot sauce, and a bunch of stuff "Made in M&*!^%"

I left the store with a renewed disappointment in society, and a couple of questions:

What is the real difference between Latino and Hispanic?

Where can I find the freaking Mexican food??