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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Starbucks has ruined America's values



Ok so maybe it's not altogether Starbucks' fault, being there the whole free will deal.  Our nation has lost it's sense of culture, it's sense of community and it's ability to discuss meaningful topics because of Starbucks, or the advent and crazed popularity of it. Oh I know many of you are screaming at your screen and yelling, We go to S everyday or every week and meet with our bible study, or GNO, or whatever else!!!" Read on. Hear me out. In 1978 the little wonder company flew on the scene, virtually unnoticed by most people south of Oregon.
I grew up with coffee, fresh coffee brewing almost at breakneck speed at every relatives house. Cuppa fudgey it was called. If you dare allow folks to come sans a brewed pot you were given "the look". The one that said " good Lord! What is wrong with you and where is my coffee??" The world's problems were solved over coffee. Ok I know I've written this exact same idea before. But people please it bares repeating! Coffee and the lack of community I believe is ruining our nation.
Fast forward to the age of Starbucks and all the people who grew up with coffee pots in their homes. Like me many did and it was a comfort food of sorts. The smell of it brewing brought in intense wonderful thoughts and feelings like no other aroma. It's no wonder all of us adults who were 18 in 1991 donned a plaid shirt and wandered into this magical world. Wait, hold up... This place offers not just black, or coffee with a little cream or espresso, they offer um, something called flavors?  Odd, but ok let's give it a go. Vanilla infused in my skinny latte? Well that was delightful wasn't it.
So there we were mindlessly ordering shorts, talls, and grandes with a splash of flavor. Wait what's this?? Mochas now? Ohhhh, hot cocoa WITH coffee?? Oh sweet Jesus this is truly straight from heaven. A lovely winter treat if you ask me. May I remind you I lived in Ca during the 90's, and the coldest temp I can bring to mind might be in the 50's. Still, chilly mornings right? Mostly I loved my skinny vanilla number and went about the day. Short please. Round about, oh I don't know 1997 all of a sudden no more shorts listed on the menu but tall, grande and good Lord VENTI! Because everyone needs that much caff in one sitting. Like every other blind melon I ordered my "tall" drink and nary a thought passed my brain.
Now friends comes the advent of Frappucinos, made with whole milk and a mound of whip that could choke the cow it came from. Has anyone ever stopped to look at what these glorious drinks are costing us?? I'm not talk pennies friends, I'm counting up calories.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 24 fl oz
 
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 150
Calories 470
 
% Daily Values*
Total Fat 17g26%
 Saturated Fat 10g50%
Cholesterol 55mg18%
Sodium 280mg12%
Total Carbohydrate 77g26%
 Dietary Fiber 1g4%
 Sugars 77g 
Protein 7g 
 
Vitamin A 10%Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 20%Iron 8%
There it is in bold print. Oh my soul, 470 calories for a beverage??? 17grams of fat, 1/4 that fat a human should consume all day is sucked down in one drink. Never mind if you add a snack to that costing another 100-200 calories. Did anyone notice the cholesterol? And people have the nerve to say high cholesterol can be hereditary. My ass! Put down your high fat, high cholesterol soaked drink and your numbers will plummet I promise!
So I went to dinner with friends three times this month. Twice I tried to order decaf coffee after my meal. Two different restaurants. Both times I waited and waited and waited til I asked for my check and left to make my own after dinner treat at home. By the time I went out third time I decided why frustrate myself and get the coffee goodness at home. I just wanted a cuppa to wash down my meal with friends. I listen, talk, communicate better with coffee in hand. Apparently now it takes a team of specialists to make a pot of decaf. The kicker is, all my friends, pre-meal ordered drinks, alcoholic of sorts and got them in record time, AND were able to order seconds and thirds. Believe me when I say I was happy to leave before any of those people hit the streets after all that consumption of alcohol. Me, all I wanted was a simple cup of coffee. Didn't even need cream.
I was deeply grieved at the way our nation has turned from this time honored tradition of gathering with friends and solving problems over little roasted beans.
We are in a culture where taste is sullied by sweets and fats, not aromas and memories. May I say our tastes have been ruined? Cheapened as it were. I'm grieved that a Sangria holds more appeal that our old friend the cuppa.
I assumed if the establishments offered Fraps, sugar Lattes and the like, you'd be able to get one lickity split!
People used to linger over after dinner coffee for hours in a restaurant. Or better yet, head over to someone's house, throw on a pot, put the kids to bed and talk. Now Starbucks closes by 10, and is not always next to the eatery you are at. Folks head home. Or folks have drank a little too much ahead of time to make much sense by 9 so the sober ones head home, devoid of meaningful chatter and deep thoughts.
In any case, we don't drink regular coffee with cream and sugar, which any person can make. We now consume, in large amounts, the beverages Starbucks only offers, which you have to be a Barista to make.
It's not legalizing gay marriage, abortion or no prayer in school that is ruining America's values my friends. It's Starbucks, and all the other high fat high sugar Coffee Establishments dotted around the country that is ripping away at the fabric of our values.  

Sunday, May 6, 2012

I stopped caring when my kid got cancer

Before cancer descended on Weir,Tx, I often said what I think. Only to my super close friends though. I never had a reason to really put my life out there for all the world to see and hear about, not that I never wanted to mind you, I'm a bit of an extrovert. But it was unnecessary.  As a hairdresser for most of my life I was used to listening to other people's problems and didn't need to share all mine with every passer by. Again saving the best for my besties. Ya'll are welcome by the way.
 I have been pondering the fact that many many many many, did I say many? Many folks have commented on my blogs/carinbridge post as so raw and real. My response is often um thanks, I think. In my head of course. I know it's meant as a compliment but it sounds odd. Sort of like the first thing my father in law said to Marck about me was that I was "refreshing". HAHAHAHA!!! Thirteen years later I see why, I'm not an uptight, always says just the right thing, wears just the right thing and believes just the right thing kind of Christian.
So ok, raw and real.... My close besties have not ever said that to me, even after reading the posts. Likely because they knew me pre-cancer. I remember one friend, who I wasn't close to until post-cancer, we were chatting about the gay marriage thing and I think she about DIED when I told her I'm not against it.
And with that last line I lost most of my readers.....
meh. Moving on.
I told her from a sanctity of marriage stand point the argument is stupid because if you're going to make a law based on keeping marriage holy and pure then please make cheating on your spouse, going to strip clubs, oogling some hotty at the pool and all the other stuff illegal as well. No? Then shut it about gay marriage already.
Anywho, the reason why this must have shocked her is she had a preconceived notion of me and who I am. A Christian. eekk, follows rules, has zero fun, never swears. My husband always says one thing he loves about me is I'm soo sweet and just a little bit crass.
Enter cancer. I bet you were wondering how this all tied in. Stay with me. I started writing about my precious child having a tumor to get info out and ultimately get some free therapy in the form of my writing. I've written forever but apparently I never had anything interesting to say. It came as no surprise to some that of course I said exactly how I feel, my mom for one to be sure. I never sugar coat things. I say what I mean and I mean what I say. The one thing I did pre-cancer that changed is I softened my beliefs in front of other Christians. I cared what they thought because for most of my Christian life I was concerned I never got it right. I've ample examples of why this was true. I remember my SIL mentioned to me that if I wanted to be in a "leadership" role at church I needed to dress a little different. I wasn't a hoochy or anything I just wore jeans and t-shirts. Apparently some Jesus loving folks are offended by jeans? I didn't BTW, I just didn't pursue a leadership role. I always knew Jesus loved me no matter what. I guess no one else figured that out yet.
After the big C I had LOTS of folks interested in our journey all of a sudden. Understandably so, but I'm fairly certain most were in for a surprise to find out the real Jen Weir just stood up. I couldn't hide from churchy people anymore and I didn't care. My kid had a life threatening disease and I was pretty scared. Having always been a journaler I treated the blog as such. Laying out the nitty gritty of my soul on "paper" was something I was used to doing. If you were to read my journals you'd see the same. I've told God how crappy my day had gone or how I wanted to sell one of my children that day. Know why? Because I knew He already knew it! No need to hide from God. Adam and Eve tried that, didn't really work.  I sort of forgot in my blogging that some people who didn't know me would be reading my personal thoughts. I stopped caring. I didn't care any more who thought I was crazy for home schooling, or who was offended at my frequent use of crap, damn and shitty. Or who thought my faith just wasn't where it should be at this point in my life. If Jesus is offended or I have stepped out of line with Him, don't you worry He will let me know.
I don't play make believe very good, just ask my kids. I don't do it well in real life either. I don't follow a list of rules very well either, mostly because I'm lazy and hate to "do" a lot of unnecessary activity. Jesus doesn't ask us to do this or do that. Wear this or wear that. Listen to this or that. He says "come to Me all you who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest. My burden is easy and light". I've always known that and lived that way, I just stopped caring when my kid got cancer if other people knew.