Sunday, December 31, 2017

Ringing In The New Year Live...Tape Delayed

Growing up, without the internet or even cable, our entertainment options were a bit limited. One thing I do remember was staying up New Years Eve and watching Dick Clark live as he ushered in the new year from Times Square in New York City.

It wasn't until later that I realized that, even though I was watching Dick Clark, the man I saw on the screen was actually a couple hours younger than he was in real time. I didn't understand that when I watched the ball drop and change to the new year, that wasn't live. That action took place exactly two hours earlier. No wonder Dick Clark always looked so young.

I felt robbed.

That feeling of theft has stayed with me to this day, though it's not as big a deal as it was when I was little. We would countdown the clock, wait until midnight, then blow horns, bang pots and pans together and yell as loud as we could, "Happy New Year!!" The fact that Mr. Clark, the confetti, the music--it was all said and done hours before.

I don't know if others have felt this way--maybe it's just one of those weird quirks unique to me. But as we wait tonight for the chance to welcome a new year, as I see images on TV, I know it's not real. It's manufactured. It's fake. It's literally yesterday's news.

I do, however, want to wish friends, family, loved ones a very happy 2018. May it be your best year ever! God bless.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

"Chaser"...An Interplanetary Tale Of A Boy And His Dog

There's a fine line between self-promotion...and harassment. At least, that's how it feels. I was notified this week that my book, Chaser, is available for pre-order on Amazon.

It's strange, looking at a webpage dedicated to something you've created. I've experienced it a few times before, but this one's special. It's my first novel, the second one I've written, the first published. I'll take that success rate any day.

In Chaser, you'll meet Kennedy, or Kenny for short. He's an inventive and somewhat stubborn twelve-year old who finds a way to take his best friend, his dog Chaser, with him on an incredible journey. Here's the write up on Amazon:

How far would you go to be with your best friend? Would you give up a chance to travel to a new planet? Would you disobey your parent? How important would it be? These questions and others face twelve-year old Kennedy Barnes as he and his dad prepare for an interplanetary mission to Planet X489-B, a mission to bring Earth’s animals to a planet without animals.

Or so they think.

Kennedy must choose to either leave his dog Chaser home, or try and smuggle him onboard. He decides leaving Chaser back on Earth would be too painful so he figures out a way to bring him along. What follows is a story of strength, deception, harrowing escapes and painful lessons learned. Join Kennedy, Chaser, and the entire crew of Trinity Base as they travel billions of miles from home on an adventure as big as the universe. You’ll find out how far one boy will go to be with his best friend.

The next month's going to be a busy one for me. Chaser is available in a digital format on my friend Clif's birthday, January 16th. The hardcopy will be available after that. And since I'd love to see as many people get a copy as possible, I'll be hawking this as much as possible. You can check out Chaser's Amazon page: HERE, and if you feel so inclined, go ahead and order your own copy.

Yes, there is a fine line between self-promotion and harassment. I'm sure I'm going to cross that line a lot very soon.

Friday, December 29, 2017

I'm Going To Feel It In The Morning...

For the past three months, at least three times a week, I've been working out. I wasn't sweating away on gym equipment, or pounding step after step on a cushioned track or hard pavement. No, I worked out on stage.

Twice in my acting career I've lost significant weight while doing a show. Shows consist (at the theatre where I am usually cast...) of two months of rehearsals--usually every weeknight and Saturday mornings--and then one month of shows, three shows a week fo the run of the show. If the show requires a lot of physical moving about, i.e. dancing and/or a lot of blocking, I've lost weight. Back in the mid-2000s, I was one of Joseph's brothers in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Our choreographer was tough--she worked us hard. After the show ended, I was twenty pounds lighter.

This latest show that ended last week, wasn't as strenuous, but it pushed me, and I dropped between five and ten pounds (not sure where I was when we started...). After losing that weight when the first show ended, I let it come back. I'd like to avoid the same fate this time, so this morning I went to the track and walked/jogged a few miles. I pushed myself hard this morning.

As I age, I remember the days when I could run a few miles as if it was walking a few blocks. Those days, unfortunately, are gone. If they ever come back, I'll need to work at it. It felt good to lace up the shoes and just go.

I'd like to go at least three times a week. I'd also like to retire early, write two best-selling novels a year (at least...) and live off the royalties. We can dream, can't we? I suppose getting off my butt and doing it is the only way to make it happen. This whole post is very long way to say that, come tomorrow morning, I'm gong to be sore.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Tis The Season...To Eat Too Much Crap

It wasn't until Christmas Day actually arrived that we realized something--we got too many sweets. And not just by a a lot.

Today I got rid of many of them.

In years past, at holidays past, I've looked upon sweets differently. When I was growing up, I could eat so much sugar. My siblings still kid me sometimes about how much I could eat. For example, I would indulge in a huge bowl of ice cream almost every day. I'm not kidding--every day. And yet, I could not gain a single pound. I was the skinniest kid I knew. It wasn't until I got married that I began packing it on. Now, I'm pretty much like everyone else. I have to work my butt off to get it off.

So when the holidays (or, any day, basically...) came around and there were sweets, I was on them like nobody's business. Especially chocolate--it was my evil sweet delicious mistress.

Something changed this year. Maybe it's because we had so much stuff. Maybe it's because some of us are getting over sniffles and such at our house this Christmas. Whatever it is, we've decided we need to get rid of most of it because we're not going to eat it. Might as well let others enjoy it. Today I took a lot of stuff to work and set it out for anyone who wanted it. One co-worker took the box of gingerbread men home--apparently they were a favorite. I told everyone who walked by to, "help themselves."

At the end of my shift, a dent had been made in the Sweet Smorgasborg, the Belly Bulge Buffet. I left everything there. I won't be back tomorrow so hopefully, when I return next week (next year...), it'll all be gone.

I'm not swearing off sweets all together. I mean, I am human, but hopefully this desire not to eat as much will continue. Time will tell.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Gillian Flynn's "Gone Girl"...A Book Review


Ever watch a sporting event between two teams, both of which you want to lose?

That's how I felt while reading Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl. Then again, that's probably the point. 

I have not seen the movie, nor did I read any reviews about the book or the novel so I didn't know anything about the story when I began the book. We get to know Nick and Amy Dunne through personal writings, one journal entries (Amy's...) and the other an account of what happens after Amy disappears (Nick's...). 

Flynn creates characters we may not like, but we want to know what happens to them. Amy goes missing, Nick--according to his writings--had nothing to do with it. The disappearance soon becomes a national story, and we learns, as does the rest of the world, all about Nick and the life he's led.

There are a couple of major plot twists in the story, twists I didn't see coming. Those twists tell us more about Amy and her past. Throughout the entire story I kept trying to decide who I sided with more, or to put it better, who I wanted to "win." I kept going back and forth trying to decide who I liked least.

Reading Gone Girl made me a little sad, sad that the characters lacked high moral character. I suppose I'm kind of sheltered in my little world. I don't do a lot of traveling and the people I interact with are very similar to me and have had similar experiences. Books are a form of escapism, that's true. I just would hate to think people such as Amy and Nick Dunne exist in real life and would do the kinds of things they do to each other. 

Gone Girl kept me interested. I needed to find out what happened to them and as the stakes in the story were raised, I kept wondering how it would all end. And if you're willing to get to know these unfortunate characters, you can find out, too.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Christmas Toy Enjoyed The Most...

My son and I did some last-minute Christmas shopping this year. Little did we know one of the things we bought on that trip turned out to be possibly the most-enjoyed gifts this year.

It was a cat toy.

The cats loved it!

It's been a different Christmas for us this year. Because of the play and other things, we ended up doing a lot of things late. We thought we had everything ready when we realized we hadn't gotten anything for the pets. I don't know where you come down on the whole "getting pets Christmas gifts" question. We usually do, even though I'm pretty sure the animals didn't notice the times they went without.

And since we needed to pick up cat food anyway, we decided to check out their toys.

Our cats are getting older. The one, Gracie, has eye problems and doesn't play very much. Our other cat, Teewinot, is usually not interested in cat toys. He's a hunter and finds the real things--mice, birds, bunnies--more fun than imitations, but when both cats got a look at the new toy, they went nuts. Both attacked it with gusto. Of course, the kids (and the adults...) had fun with the cat toy, too.

I'm not saying that the other presents were not appreciated. I think the kids had a good Christmas, it's just I think the cats had more fun with what we got them.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Gingerbread House...Try Gingerbread Castle!

Our kids have tried, over the past couple of years, to build a gingerbread house at Christmas. We normally buy one of those kits with everything included. I'm sure some kits are better than others, but the ones we got turned out to be less than stellar. 

Beginning last year, my wife suggested something new--use graham crackers in place of gingerbread. This year the kids decided to go for broke.

When it was all said and done, we got the lowdown on the structure. It's a castle, complete with a king (gingerbread man on the right--I think--with a jellybean for a crown...), and a queen (gingerbread woman on the left, also with a jellybean crown...), and all the subjects below (the line of gummy bears on the next level...).

On the back there's aquatic animal gummies complete with lobster and dolphins. It's quite a thing to see. I told the kids they'll need to up their game for next year. I suggested they make our house. We'll see what happens.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

New Traditions...This Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is slipping into history. The kids are in their rooms--most likely not asleep. My wife and I are watching (upon recommendation of a friend...), Arthur Christmas as we wait for the kids to begin dreaming of sugar plumbs and other such things.

The show, Arthur Christmas--it's a first for us. There's a couple of other new things we're trying this year. And even though "New Traditions" is an oxymoron, we're hoping the term sticks.

Since Christmas Eve fell on a Sunday this year, we had church--great day to go to church, by the way. Then we got ready for Christmas Eve. I spent time making a video for tomorrow. The kids did some baking and cleaning, and tonight we all gathered in our room and played a game.

Both my wife and I read somewhere about Christmas Eve traditions in other countries. They give books to their kids on Christmas Eve. We thought it would be fun, so we packaged books and pajamas and let the kids open those presents tonight.

The experiment was a huge success!

After the kids retreated to their rooms, I stepped outside with my phone. Just like in a book or a Hallmark movie, it's snowing, covering the world in a blanket of white. Even without the light of day, it's absolutely beautiful outside. I took a few pictures of our house, and a video of our culd-a-sac. I sometimes can't believe I live in such an amazing place surrounded by not only neighbors, but friends.

Will the kids be getting pajamas and books next year? Will we play games together and watch new Christmas shows? If so, then the term "new traditions" might actually apply. As always, time will tell.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

The 2017 Taylor Family (Digital...) Christmas Card!

We didn't send out family Christmas cards this year...

Until now.

I haven't done this every year, but sometimes I'll compile a short video (thanks for Apple's iMovie app...) and send it out in lieu of a proper, create-then-get-printed-then-mail-out-to-everyone-you-know family Christmas card. So, for all of you fantastic people who sent us cards the old-fashioned way, here's ours to you. And even if you didn't send us a card, please feel free to check out ours.

The video's posted on YouTube. You can access the link: HERE

If I had to say one word that best describes this year for our family, I'd have to say growth. I think I've learned more about myself in the past twelve months than I have in most years. We've had good times, some tough times, times I wouldn't change for anything. I've made new friendships, strengthened long-lasting others, and grown a year older.

If you've got a second (or, ninety-four seconds, actually...), click on the above link. It shows a slice of what life was like at the Taylor household. I couldn't include everything--that would be both too boring and too long. But I tried to capture some of the highlights.

2017 will be a year I'll remember. As I put in the video, thanks to everyone who supported us, helped us, loved us. It means more than you can possibly know. Thank you and God bless.

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Final Curtain...Yet Again

The stage is dark, the theater empty...


A few of us have stayed to sing karaoke, a sometimes-honored tradition at the end of a run. The party'll break up in a few hours, and we'll return to our homes and apartments. And our cast will never again gather to sing, dance, entertain this show. It is the way of things.

Because the show at some point begins, it must end. Because we get to know each other--some for the first time, others to know again--we must say goodbye. Like any endeavor, the feelings we have once it has ended are a direct reflection of the amount of work put into said endeavor. The pain of loss is a direct result in the joy and fun times had.

After tonight's show, I went into the foyer to greet the patrons, shake their hands, wish them a Merry Christmas. I don't know if other theaters have this tradition, or if it's unique to our little company. I'm glad we do it--it's a way to connect with those who make the shows possible.

One man approached. We chatted. He said something profound. Without quoting him directly (because I can't remember the exact words and I'd hate to misquote him...), he said simply that when a show can can touch an audience and evoke feelings within them, feelings they didn't expect or maybe even want, it's something special.

I told him it's why we do what we do, why we put in the hours, spend time away from family and friends, all for free.

Soon the music will be stilled, the theater quiet. Everyone will get in their cars and travel on cold roads and fall into their beds exhausted physically, emotionally, even spiritually, glad they were part of something special, relieved they get a break, and wonder what show they'll do next. 

And then the whole thing happens all over again...

Until the curtain falls for the final time...


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Perusing A Newspaper...A Lost Art

When I got home from work today, I found something included in the junk mail--a real, live newspaper. Reports of their complete extinction appear to be exaggerated. 

Up until the last fifteen years, papers were part of life. When we were kids my brother had a paper route--sometimes I'd help him out. My mom subscribed to the paper. How else could you get the coupons, or know what deals were available on Black Friday or after Christmas? In college I read our student newspaper as well as the dailies. I even considered becoming a newspaper reporter, something that happened years later.

The paper Like most people my age, we grew up with newspapers. They were our non-digital internet. It's easy to forget just how important they were for us. We needed a newspaper to tell us not only where and when movies played, but movie reviews told us if the movies were even worth seeing. They had national and international stories. We were informed in ways the TV news couldn't deliver.

And just how important were the classifieds? They were information gold! We found jobs, cars, apartments, houses, furniture, pets--you name it. The classified section alone was worth the cost of the paper. Today, the classifieds totaled only a few printed inches in the paper we received in the mail. Back in the day, the classifieds in this paper were never really big, but they used to be a lot bigger than they are now.

As I aged, the sports section became more and more important to me. I read about our high school teams, then college teams, then pro teams. We trusted the reporters' words when we couldn't be there. They were our eyes, ears, and voices. 

The paper I opened and scanned today was The Davis County Clipper, celebrating 126 years as Davis County's New Source. This particular paper's always been smaller than the two biggest papers in Utah, the Deseret News and the Salt Lake Tribune. It was as big as it needed to be. It served a need for the community. It also brings good memories for me--I covered sports teams for them back in the 1990s and 2000s. It was a blast and I learned a lot doing it.

Everyone, whether they've followed the plights of newspapers or not, knows it's been tough for the medium for the past few decades. We get our news differently now, mostly from the same tool by while I continue my daily blog. It's easy to wax nostalgic for the days when the snap of a crisp newspaper signaled to all within earshot that news was happening, all on the printed page. Many have morned the newspaper's fate. The Davis County Clipper has been going for 126 years. I wonder how long they'll be able to keep the streak going. Time will tell.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

...With Presents Neath The Tree

This morning, before I left the house at 6am, I quickly turned on our Christmas tree lights. I wanted to snap a few pictures of it while the house was dark and, more especially, while there are presents lying underneath.

A lot has changed since I was a kid, but that scene, the presents, the tree, the lights--it's one of my favorite childhood memories.

I grew up in a very large house, not a mansion, but large for my mom and us three kids. My dad designed the house and almost saw it completely built before he died. He wanted a big front room and that's what we had. It's a great room for a Christmas tree and we put it in the same place every year, the southwest corner. We sold the house after my mother passed away. The new owners realized just how perfect that corner is for a Christmas tree--it's where their tree is right now. You can't argue with a great place to put a Christmas tree.

The house where I now live is smaller and we've had our trees over the years in various places. And because the house is smaller, we can't have as many presents under the tree, like we did in my parent's house. I don't remember exactly when the presents started showing up when I was a kid, but by the third week of December, there were just so many--or so it seemed.

I loved just looking at the tree. I suppose that what kids did before the internet. With it dark outside and all the lights turned off except the Christmas lights, I would just sit, put on a Christmas album on the HiFi, look at the tree, and wonder what was in all those boxes.

Yesterday my wife and I wrapped presents and put them under our tree. We've only a few days until the 25th so there'll be fewer chances to kick or knock them around. This morning, as I took the pictures, I remembered those days decades ago when lights, a tree, some holiday music, and the mystery of wrapped presents was enough to completely captivate a young boy. If that's not something special, I don't know what is.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Go Buy The Tots A Toy...Buy Lots!

Last night the casts of Centerpoint Legacy Theatre's Christmas Carol revealed to the director and the stage manager what they had been up to for the past several weeks--collecting money to make Christmas special for others.

Doing shows during December means you give up a lot. You give up your time, you give up being able to travel to see loved ones who live in other states, you give up the ability to do Christmas shopping in a timely and responsible manner.

But, when you give up things for others, something amazing happens...somehow when you give, you also receive. The donation drive was something not expected. It was a way to extend that Christmas feeling to those who won't get to see us on stage, to children who will get a gift they otherwise wouldn't get.

The season is filled with stories of people doing things for others. Ours is but one of many. We know it will make others feel good and it made us feel good just seeing their reaction when the gifts were delivered before our show last night. I did learn one valuable thing when that happened. I saw a way to make a speechless Jim Christian. And that's not an easy thing to do. ;)

Monday, December 18, 2017

Christmas Presents From My Friend...Before And After He Got Married

My friend Steve stopped by my office today. He dropped off a Christmas present.

It's amazing what getting married can do for a guy.

I've blogged about Steve Before on this blog--several times, actually. We've been friends for about a decade. A few years ago he gave me a Christmas present--sixty packages of Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate. It's a good gift. I'm not quite through them all, but I do enjoy them from time to time, especially when it's cold in my cubicle (I've blogged about that a few times, too...).

Today he dropped off this year's present, and once again it was hot chocolate. Except something changed, something's different and it all has to do with him getting married. This year's gift is amazing. It's stylish, unique, special. Steve told me that when he told his new wife (they've been married about six months...) what he was planning on giving out to friends this Christmas, she was more than a little surprised not necessarily at what he was giving out, but how. She was shocked he would just give out packages of hot chocolate, like he did years ago.

So, she took the reigns and wen to town. The result is very cool, very hip, very not-Steve. I told him the two presents are kind of like he and his wife. When Steve was single, I got a box, like you'd find on a Costco shelf. Now that he's married, the presentation's much better--you know, kind of like when he and his wife walk into a room--the presentation's much better. Thanks, Steve, and Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

If You're Looking For A 2018 Calendar...Check Out This Local Artist's!


Even though we have calendars on our phones, computers, even our watches, there's something to be said for having a printed, good old-fashioned, hold-in-your-hands-and-hang-on-the-wall calendar. And if you're in the market for a completely new artistic calendar, I recommend this one.

It's by Skeletal Gadget.

It's full of Homestuck characters.

Perhaps you (like me...) are not familiar with Homestuck, it's a webcomic, quite a large one at that. Here's an example of both the characters and the artwork.

I am a BIG fan of Skeletal Gadget. He's created a style that's uniquely his own. His YouTube videos have been played hundreds of thousands of times, and his name is known among video game players across the world.

And if you (like me...) want to order the first of hopefully many yearly calendars to come, click: HERE and go to his Red Bubble website. And while you're there, check out his other artwork. It's very good. 

Come on! Get a calendar! To quote Edward Johnson, "Clark (and, by extension, all of us...), that's the gift that keeps on giving the whole year."

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Remembering The Past...Thanks To Facebook

Normally, when I see Facebook's reminders of posts past, I check them out, remember the picture or the post, then move on. I mean, they're nice and all, but there's little need to re-post them, at least, for me.

But today's memory reminder made me think.

To be honest, I'm not 100% sure if I told my kids what I told Facebook I said. It could have just been me trying to be silly or clever. But, I could have said to my kids that Santa does not appreciate an unclean house--so much so that he will pass by an unkempt home.

Whether they believed it, that's a whole different story.

It made me think about things I used to say to my kids. Back on December 16, 2010 my oldest child was then fifteen and my youngest was six. The concept (and threats...) concerning Santa affected them differently than they way they think of him now. And I'm betting their concept of me has changed in those years also. I definitely know the way I see them has changed. That's what time does.

Facebook, Twitter, other social media are becoming our journals, our diaries, the methods by which we store our thoughts, memories, desires, joys, and pains. It's also a way of reminding me of they person I was back then. Or at least, the person I wanted everyone to think I was. I wonder if, in seven years, I'll be shown this post. And if so, what will I think about then?

Friday, December 15, 2017

Getting Motivated...At The Post Office

Fridays, as well as being a day off for me, turns into a day to run errands. I don't mind--it's nice to emerge from work and feel the sun on my face. One of my stops today--the Farmington Post Office. What caught my attention as the pleasant postal worker calculated costs and affixed proper postage to our boxes, were all the signs hanging on the wall.

Since I didn't want to be too obvious, I secretly snapped a picture of the wall. Luckily, I am able to blow up the shot to see what all the little sayings say.

Here's a few:

WARNING: You have entered the Twilight Zone

The Limit to you Ability is Where you Place It!!

Tough times don't last...Tough people do!!

KARMA has no deadline.

The Statistics on SANITY are that one out of every four Americans is suffering from one form of MENTAL ILLNESS. Think of your three best friends, and if they're okay, then it's you.

No to Bullies and Mean People.

"Can't we all just get along?" Rodney King

I dream of a better tomorrow where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned!

When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the fire department generally uses water!!

Everyone drives somebody crazy. Some of us just have a bigger car!

"My Religion is Kindness." Dalai Lama

Everyone Deserves to be treated with Respect.

"May we meet again in the light of understanding." Malcolm X

Old timer crossing.

I have some personal favorites--the Karma one, the fire one, and Dalai Lama's quote. Of course, they're all good to keep in mind, especially when working in an undersized building dealing with thousands of people during the busiest time of the year. I'm glad I took the time to take the picture. Hopefully, the sayings with help not just the people in their office, but everyone who takes the time to read them as they wait to be served.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Best Part Of "Stranger Things 2"...Is The Dance At The Very End

Much has been written about Netflix's original series Stranger Things 2, and it's predecessor, Stranger Things. And for good reason--they're impressive on many levels. Most of the reviews and comments about both seasons have been positive. Of course, there's always a few who disagree. They think the stories are weak, and the effects are just okay.


I loved them both! 

The main reason I loved them is not because of the effects, or the stories lines between the adults--for me the draw was always the four friends, jr. high-aged kids facing unimaginable adventures while trying to understand the crazy world they're growing into--with or without the monsters. I relate to them because in real life, I was them, only for me I was their age not in the mid 1980s, but a few years earlier. Back then I hung out with my friends at arcades, I played D & D with those same friends in the basements of our homes, all while trying to understand life as soon-to-be-adults.

That's why, out of all the cool parts of Season One and Season Two, the part I liked the best was the last ten minutes or so of Season Two, Chapter Nine: The Gate. In the episode all the baddies were sent back to Hell, or wherever they came from, and the kids let their hair down (or up...) at the school dance, the Hawkins Middle School Snow Dance '84.

The set up is fantastic. We see the kids preparing for the big event, getting ready, trying out lines in front of the mirror. We see the nerves, the anxiety, the anticipation. We cheer for their successes and our hearts hurt to experience their failures. It was all too real, too many memories. Let's just say it struck really close to home.

When my friends and I roamed the mean streets of Farmington, Utah on our Schwinns, we did the things those kids did, albeit with less profanity, and without the monsters, portals into other dimensions, evils scientists, government cover-ups, and telekinetic-powered girls. But if we could, we would have had the courage to fight evil as they did. Or even enjoy a jr. high school dance. That's why I liked it so much, especially, the very very end.

All photos taken without permission from Netflix

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Proven Wrong...By The Worker At Wendys

On Mondays things are a tad hectic at the Taylor household. Actually, the hectic-ness extends to beyond the walls of our home--extends to the theater and to where we decide to pick up dinner.

My daughter and I are currently in a local production of A Christmas Carol. We do the shows Monday/Wednesday/Friday nights. My daughter has dance rehearsal until 6pm on Mondays. Call time for us to be at the theater is 6pm. So, on our first show of the week I leave earlier than normal, stop by a fast food establishment, and order my daughter dinner. For the past two weeks, I've stopped at a local Wendys restaurant.

Funny, how you learn things in the strangest places.

Two Mondays ago I got us food--to go--then picked up my daughter. Thinking I would eat a little healthier than normal, I ordered a side salad to offset the ill effects of the spicy chicken sandwich I also ordered for myself. I took the food, jumped in the car, and when time came to eat, I found no fork in the bag.

Ever tried to eat a salad sans fork?

My son had to do it on our return trip from Seattle back in September. My daughter, son, and I laughed as he told us he forgot to get a fork and we watched him eat each lettuce leaf with his fingers. When it happened to me, it wasn't as funny. As I looked down at my fork-less salad, I wondered if the worker forgot to give me a fork. That must have been it.

This last Monday I found myself at the same Wendys. Once again I ordered a salad. This time I took a picture of the drink counter. I took the picture because I didn't see any forks, spoons, knives, or anything other than stuff for drinks. I had proof the worker failed to give me a fork. The order came, I checked before I left and once again--no fork.

"Um, can I get a fork?" I asked, thinking the worker had once again forgotten an essential tool I needed to enjoy my tasty food.

That's when he casually pointed to his right.

"You can get a fork right there."

Duh! I said to myself. I had not noticed either the week before or this time the other table loaded with everything I'd need to eat my food. Forks, spoons, knives, napkins, straws, ketchup--it was all there.

Funny, how you learn things in the strangest places.