My Love

I FINALLY finished "Audrey: The Second Year." It's been a very emotional process because every video clip I added reminded me of the all the awesome video clips that were accidentally deleted (I'm reaching a point of acceptance). While it's not as good as "Audrey: The First Year," I still love it because watching her grow up is the best. It starts off a bit slow, but it picks up! (Movies via youtube: here.)

I missed adding Tori Rawley and Andria Harmon to the thank you list (thank you Tori and Andria!). I'm sure I missed more, but I'll make it up to those people in "Audrey: The Third Year," which is currently kicking booty.


I Don't Even Have an MBA!

Forewarning: This post is way too long. This will be rare, I promise!

Oh, Dunkin Donuts. The day you opened your doors next to Noodles & Co. on Kirkwood, I predicted your doom. Did you forget to fully research ye ole Bloomington? Researching (#1) how large our population is, and (#2) how much of our population likes coffee and donuts (um, 99%) is just not enough for a town like Bloomington. First of all, I feel pretty comfortable stating that Dunkin’s prime time must be morning. I also feel pretty comfortable saying that people are more than willing to spend big $$$ on coffee and donuts in the morning. But there’s more you need to know!

Ok, if Dunkin Donuts had hired me as a consultant, here’s what they would have heard:
  1. There are two MAJOR competitors within one block of the proposed location. Does Bloomington have a big enough population to support three in one block? Probably not, but this is just a small observation.
  2. Does Bloomington, in general, support corporate businesses? Actually, yes / somewhat, but a good local joint will take away a lot of your business. Don’t expect to come in and take a chunk out of the local businesses’ devoted clienteles. It ain’t gonna happen. If the local business sucks, then you have a shot. In this case, you don’t.
  3. What is the foot traffic around your proposed business location during your peak hours (i.e. morning)? Um, nil. Trust me, I work right across the street. There are days I walk into work without seeing another human being on the street. Not what you’d expect, I know… but something you’d learn with a little research.
  4. But, you say, there 40K students on campus and they love coffee and donuts! Yes, but they are almost NEVER in this location in the morning. They do venture over for lunch…but even then the population of students eating lunch in this location is fairly small in comparison to the student population. This is because there are VERY few classrooms near this location (it’s mostly administrative buildings).
  5. Lastly, did you actually SEE the proposed rent from your landlords??? Perhaps you missed one zero in it?

Just think: I would have only charged you $1,000  for my consultation and you would have saved at least $500,000. Sometimes paying for market research is worth it J.

Other businesses (I think are) doomed and why:
  • Campus Candy (location is WAY TOO expensive for their small revenues)
  • Panda Express (too many competitors, food sucks, rent too high)
  • B Boutique, Hey Nineteen, and any girly business with the name “Bella” in it (the overhead just trumps your potential earnings, too much competition)
  • Sweet Grass (not enough sales, renting too much unused square footage)
  • Finches (many people will disagree with this, but they just don’t get enough business)
  • 90% of Bloomington's bakeries (because there have been 30 other bakeries in your location before you…so duh, don’t do it!)
  • That new soup business on the square (for every reason listed above and a million more!)

Ok, it’s important to note that there are always some businesses that stay open without making a profit…meaning the owner pretty much finances it on his / her own because he / she loves it, OR because he / she doesn’t know how to do the books, therefore he / she doesn’t realize they are actually losing money (until it’s too late). Here are a few that I think fit this bill:
  • O’Child! Darling store that the owners must feel very passionately about, but there’s no way they make a decent profit with that product and that rent.
  • Baked! (a cookie store), Green Bananas (a clothing store), and this hippy store on Indiana that I don’t know the name of: I think these businesses make money, but not because of the product they advertise. Haha. 
What are some others, Bloomingtonians?

Images from here.

"Happy Spring!"

...said the snow.


They Also Sold Thongs (not the shoe kind) to Kids

Oh, before I forget… have you seen all the press about the push-up triangle bikini for…GIRLS (ages 7-12)!?!?! Check it out below. Since the uproar, they have re-categorized it as “padded.” So much better. I am ordering one for Audrey right now just in case they no longer offer them in 5 years. 



The Perfect Saturday?

Today I had the best brunch of my life with the girls and the babies. (Unfortunately Seja couldn't make it, but we forgive her since she was on a family trip.) On the menu: baked cinnamon apple french toast, fruit salad with every fruit you can think of, some sort of amazing cheesy-egg-sausage pizza, pigs in a blanket (sausage wrapped in bacon), and mimosas!! This was followed by a three-hour nap, then a dinner of corn pops while watching "Wallace and Gromit." Next is shrinky-dinks! Yup, pretty close to perfect.

This is the perfect time to introduce part of the cast: my Bloomington girls! We've basically been a tight crew for about 8 years or so. These women are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G, to say the least. Amazingly smart, fiercely loyal and caring, and FUN! Top row L to R: me, Seja, Kelly. Bottom row L to R: Sarah B, Sarah W, Melo. Sorry boys, every single one is attached! Except me of course :)!


Irrational Pet Peeve

I know it's a waste of energy for this to be a pet peeve of mine, but I can't help it. I can't stand how Mickey's feet and hands are so out of proportion with the rest of his body (on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse).

But honestly, what really gets me are Daisy's and Minnie's feet. Their feet are bigger than their torsos!

Photos are here and here.

Chad's Surgery Went Well

Just an update from a previous post. My dear friend Chad's surgery went very well. I visited him at the hospital last night and I can say that he has the most amazing support system: an always-positive wife, his wise-cracking buddies, and a family that is tight as can be. Good times ahead...

Want to Know the Key to Happiness? Because I Have it!

Here it is: Stop watching political pundits and the news (and reading news blogs)! Seriously. CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, your local station- they are all horrible. Pundits and broadcast news “journalists” exaggerate EVERYTHING by over 1000% and cause so much fear in our country. But you want to stay informed, right? I know, me too. My recommendation: Jon Stewart. Yes, his show is a comedy, but its news portion are based on real events and he is an equal-opportunity critic. Many think he leans left, and I think he does as well, but he has NO PROBLEM calling out both (all) sides for their ridiculous stupidity. Also, the NewsHour on PBS; people think they lean left too, but I think it’s the closest to bipartisan news as you’ll get on TV. Anyway, my level of happiness has increased significantly since I started limiting myself to watching / reading (online) news to once a week.

If you do want factual news, you are more likely to get the “real” story several weeks after the event occurs. “We regret our error” notices are not prominently shown and there are TONS of them (and  that's only if they actually admit the mistake). Like when we said, “100 died from this horrible accident,” we actually meant 13 people were mildly injured. “Sorry to those people who had subsequent heart attacks and died due to our irresponsible reporting.”

Below is a gem from 2010; the publication took almost a month to admit that the picture is of the wrong man, and that the man in the picture is still alive and he didn’t kill anyone. Could you imagine? Seeing a headline, “Jane Doe Responsible for Killing 430,000 People,” and the picture of Jane Doe is YOU!!!!

The publicatons's apology: The picture above right illustrated a front page story about the death of the Nazi war criminal, Samuel Kunz, on 23 November. We have since been told that the image is not, in fact, that of Samuel Kunz, but the Croatian actor Ljubomir Jurkovic. We are happy to make the position clear and apologise to Mr Jurkovic for the error.


Guess Where?

Yup, you got it: Libya! Let's hope this conflict ends quickly and peacefully so this beautiful country and its people are restored / saved (and we can all visit!). Bottom pic is a hotel under construction in Libya now; I am not sure of it status now. Pretty cool, eh? More pics:

Photo credits: here, here, here, here, here, and here

Good God Google!

10 amazing perks if you work for Google (As reported by MoneyWatch):

1. If you have a favorite charity, Google will match your contributions, up to $12,000 a year.

2. Pop a tire on your bike on your way to work? The on-site bike repair specialist is happy to help.

3. Between the rock climbing wall, lap pool and billiards tables, who needs a fancy gym?

4. In 2010, Google celebrated improving numbers by handing out across the board 10 percent raises.

5. Google has been praised by human rights groups for recognizing domestic partners when it comes to benefits like health insurance and bereavement leave.

6. Two words: free lunch.

7. One employee quoted on Google’s website says she was surprised by “The number of people who wear Google T-shirts to work! It’s like being at a college campus that has tons of school spirit.”

8. If rock climbing sounds a little crazy (or you wore a skirt to work), you can blow off some steam with a frenzied foosball match.

9. It may not be a dog’s life at Google — but canine companions are welcome.

10. And rounding out number 10: Free beer. Cheers!

I actually intended to post something entirely different today, but ran across this. I'll be back (to post my other post) in about the amount of time it takes to apply for a position at Google.

Photo credits: here, here, here, here, and here. Article credit: here.


Thoughts and Prayers

My thoughts and prayers go to my dear friend Chad and his family. Chad is about to kick some cancer ass in surgery today. Chad has been my good friend for over 20 years, and we have supported each other through many losses in life. If there's one thing that's unfair in life, it's that Chad has to deal with this right now. BUT...there isn't anyone tougher out there and he'll be good as new before we know it.

South Bend Tribune article

In Honor of all Kickass Women....

It's Women's History Month. Being the feminist that I am, I just have to do at least one post about it (and there will probably be more). I decided to feature my favorite female TV characters, all of whom kick booty. If you have not seen these shows, YOU MUST MUST MUST!

Penny from "Inspector Gadget"

Veronica from "Veronica Mars"

CJ from "The West Wing"

Darlene from "Roseanne"

Rory and Lorelei from "Gilmore Girls"

Dora from "Dora the Explorer"

Debra from "Dexter"

 Claire from "The Cosby Show"

And my absolute favorite...drum roll...Buffy from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"

And, although she doesn't quite make the list, I must mention Sarah Silverman because I am going to see her Thursday night with Seja!!! Can you think of a better GNO? Woot woot!


Bummer Stickers

Do you like bumper stickers? I guess I’m typical in that I tend to like ones I agree with and hate ones I disagree with. I guess it’s an effectual way to spread your message, whatever that may be. But honestly, bumper stickers just seem passive-aggressive to me. Once I challenged someone’s sticker in a parking lot and that person basically told me to mind my own business. The thing is…I was trying to, but I was more and less forced to read this person’s offensive sticker. My opinion is that you shouldn’t put a sticker on your car unless,  (A) you are just as willing to roll down your window and share your thoughts with the person next to you at the stoplight, and (B) you are willing to hear opposing views. These are the two worst:

Good – God = Zero 

Couldn't find an actual pic, which is a good thing! This sticker is so offensive. I am not an atheist, but I truly believe that an atheist who lives a good, productive, positive life is much better than a murderer or pedophile who believes in God.

And these just confuse me. Are you bragging that you have a family? Because, like, most people do. It’s not really anything extraordinary. Are you going to roll down your window and tell your driving neighbor, “Hey, I have a kid! And a dog! And a wife!” ? ? ? ? ?

Of course, a good friend of mine once said it would be hilarious to get one of these stickers if I ever re-marry AND my ex, Dan, re-married as well (if he was allowed, that is). This would be our sticker:

Adult Man + Adult Woman + Girl Child + Adult Man + Adult Man

Hey, if that scenario happily worked (which I actually think it would), it would certainly be something to brag about, right?


A good night for insomnia...

Good morning!

Last night I could not fall asleep. About 12:30am, I gave up and went into the living room to watch TV. Naturally, I turned on Letterman (you know, because Leno is absolutely intolerable). Lucky me! Steve Martin was on. It does not get better than Steve Martin. I adore him. CBS has not posted last night's performance of his song, "Atheist Ain't Got No Song," which he sings with his band, the Steep Canyon Rangers.No worries though...I found a youtube clip of their Jazz Fest performance. Brillz!


I just don't know what to say...

My name is Jacqueline and apparently I think I have interesting, witty, smart things to say (hence the blog). I admit it; I am a know-it-all. Very bad personality trait. I am always thinking thoughts that I think would be “perfect” for a blog. A tad self-assured, eh? Oh well.

So, here I am, on my own blog with all the space in the world to say anything I want. I need my first post to be charming or articulate or funny, but…nothing. I got nothing. So I decided that writing a blog must be like getting up in the morning or going to work out: getting started is the hardest part.  

My goal is to post at least three times a week because the most annoying thing about blogs is that so many aren’t updated. That makes me waste a whole millisecond of my life that could have been devoted to sleep. So blog-writers, please update your blogs!
Coming soon: the cast!