Saturday, July 31, 2010

Target Misses The Mark

It has come to light recently that Target made a large ($100,000+) donation to the organization Minnesota Forward to help fund an ad campaign for Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer. (As a side note, it overjoys me as a human being and a word-loving nerd that I have reason to use the word gubernatorial in a sentence. Seriously.)

Who is Tom Emmer and why does this donation piss so many people off? Tom Emmer is a republican. He is against gay marriage and is one of those who has heartily endorsed all efforts to amend the constitution to protect marriage (from what exactly? but I digress...) by declaring it is only between one man and one woman. Emmer has also voted 100% against women's right to choose, believing that life and family trump any other right or circumstance. He supports the NRA and wants to defend the right to own firearms as well as carry concealed. It should also be noted that Emmer supports Arizona's recent illegal immigration policy!

I really can't understand why Target would think this is a good idea. At a minimum, it is massive public relations FAIL and heads (and jobs) should roll for a.) thinking no one would find out and b.) thinking no one would care. Poor judgment all around, boys. Target is not known for being a socially conservative company. In fact, they offer considerations that many companies don't, such as recognizing domestic partnerships when it comes to eligibility for employee benefits. They have also in the past supported Twin Cities Pride (Gay Pride in Minnesota).

Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel defends Target's donation and declares their support of the gay community as "unwavering". He sites other things Emmer wants to do as governor, such as create more jobs, support the education system, etc. as Target's reasons for their donation. Really? You couldn't find a candidate to support who doesn't, you know, alienate a huge percentage of your employees and customers with his politics? There isn't anyone else who supports such basic things as creating jobs and funding schools?

Whether or not you agree with Emmer's politics (seriously, if you do, what are you doing here?) is not the only thing to consider here. I don't think Target should be in the business of funding political campaigns for anyone. It's not right for consumer-funded corporations such as retail establishments to take our money and use it to further personal and political agendas. Even though I am not the only person who feels this way, their doing so is legal as ruled by a recent Supreme Court decision (that decision came down 5 to 4, by the way). My biggest problem with that ruling has to do with a magic word: disclosure. 

There is not yet any regulation in place that forces those companies to disclose their donations. In fact, such an effort was recently shot down by a senate vote. What is ridiculous about this is that under current FTC regulations I  have to disclose that I received a free hair dryer to review on The Gloss Menagerie, yet Minnesota Forward is under no obligation to disclose where their money came from, and Target has no obligations to tell us about their donations.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

5 Ways That Job Hunting is Like Dating

You try to put your best foot forward. Sure the actual outfits are different (I hope!) but the way we primp for a date is very similar to how we primp for an interview. Gotta look your best, make sure your breath is okay, and don't say anything stupid. 

You meet, have some great conversation, and then they don't call you back. Don't you HATE that? Just be straight up! I like you, I just don't like like you. Was that so hard?!

They sounded much cooler on the internet than in person. Have you ever met up with someone only to discover that maybe that picture was from 5 years ago and they look nothing like that anymore? Talk about a bait and switch! There are lots of job listings out there like that too. They dangle all sorts of promises that are non-existent! Or heaven forbid, you show up to an "interview" and it's really a multi-level marketing pitch. Gag me! Which leads me to my the next similarity...

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. He's a brain surgeon who loves to cook, shop, and has a great relationship with his mom? What's the catch? Married. Same thing with a job. $3,000 a week part time! Yeah, right.

Now, I think this "rule" of dating doesn't apply to everyone, but it does for some, and certainly with job hunting-- by the 3rd time you really expect them to put out. Unless you're applying for the CIA or something, it really shouldn't take that many interviews to get you a job. Did you know that friggin' Macy's is a 3-interview process? Ridiculous! How vetted does a gal need to be to hawk Clinique?

I know the economy's tough and the job market is rough out there, but really employers...all we want is for you to be straight up with us. Communication is the key to any relationship.

Workin' On My Fitness

So I'm becoming one of those people obsessed with their iphone. I got the iphone 4 as an early birthday present and it's so amazing. I love this thing so much.

Anyway. The abundance of fitness apps has inspired me to well, finally do something about this situation. What you can't see is when I say "this situation" I'm motioning towards my belly. :P Which is not to be confused with this situation:


I am using 2 apps in conjunction with each other-- MyFitnessPal and Fitness Pro. Both are free and satisfy my needs quite well. 

MyFitnessPal is pretty spiffy. You type in your age/height/weight etc., your lifestyle (activity level), and your weight loss goal (ultimate goal weight and how much you want to lose per week from 1/2 pound a week to 2 pounds a week). It then gives you a daily calorie budget. I enter in the foods I eat and it tells me how many more calories I'm allowed that day. It also tracks other nutrients such as fat, sugars, carbs, protein, etc. In addition to tracking your eating, MyFitnessPal tracks exercise and calories burned. If you exercise, it adjusts your calorie intake budget accordingly. Whenever you want to, you can record the day's weight and it will chart your progress on a graph. Cool!

Fitness Pro is a nifty reference guide with dozens of exercises to try with minimal equipment necessary. Some of them have an incline bench or machine involved but there are still tons that require a pair of dumbells, an exercise ball, or nothing at all. They're separated by what muscle group you are working. You can also plan workout routines by adding moves to a routine and then entering how many reps per set and how many sets.

I've been using these apps for 3 days now and they kind of make it fun because I'm already so obsessed with my iphone that any excuse to play with it is a good thing.

If you have an ipod or iphone, have you tried these apps? I'm enjoying them so far!

Iams Cat Food Recall

Hey all.

As a cat mom I thought it would be a good idea to let you all know about a recall from Iams on their renal diet cat food. Iams is voluntarily recalling 2 lots of this particular product as a precautionary measure as they may have been contaminated with salmonella.

Iams Veterinary Formulas Feline Renal 5.5 lb

The lots being recalled are 01384174B4 and 01384174B2 and the UPC code for both is 0 19014 21405 1.

If your kitty has eaten food from these lots and is experiencing upset tummy, please see your vet ASAP. 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Free Returns on Women's Plus at Old Navy

I got an email a couple days ago from Old Navy announcing "You asked, we listened!", saying now returns of all women's plus size merchandise will be free.

Okay, let me dissect the PR spin and tell you what really happened.

First, Old Navy took plus sized merchandise out of their stores and made it online-only, making shopping for clothes that much harder on plus sized women. 

At least returns were free. In other words, we could order our stuff, pay for shipping (!! ugh), but at least we could return it and not get docked for return shipping if the stuff didn't fit. Annoying as hell, but not that bad.

But then that changed! They started to charge you $7 return shipping on a plus sized return. I have a couple of tops I didn't like at all but kept because the $7 return shipping charge would have cut my return amount in half. Not worth it! The uproar was huge in the plus sized community. So when I read "you asked, we listened!" it gives me a chuckle because what I bet happened was Old Navy got a barrage of "WTF" emails from angry customers who were sick of being treated like second class citizens. 

The email states this change is for a "limited time only". Why would they make a big deal out of listening to their customers' requests if only to make it a limited time offer? That's ridiculous. Old Navy, get your head out of your ass. 

Meanwhile, Target's plus sized clothes are starting to improve every season. Just saying. ;)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Poop Happens

I've been having a rough time of it lately. Boyfriend is out of town, and I never sleep very well when he's not around.

The other night, I went to bed. Late, but not that late. It was somewhere around the neighborhood of midnight. I tossed and turned, tried sleeping in every position I could think of (literally-- horizontally across the bed, backwards with my feet near my pillow, you name it). Sleep just wasn't happening. Finally around 2 I decided to give up on sleeping and play some games on my phone to try and tire myself out. Half an hour later I finally fell asleep.

But not for long.

Groggily I opened my eyes in my dark bedroom. Something had awoken me. The smell. Oh. Dear. God. The foulest cat poo smell I had ever experienced. And that's saying something. "Great," I thought, assuming one of my fluffy-assed cats had gotten poopy butt again. For those of you non-cat parents who have heard that cats are self-cleaning, blah blah blah, you are blissfully misinformed! Fluffy cats often get poo stuck to their bottoms and must be cleaned up or they will drag ass all over your floor and leave skid marks everywhere. Awesome huh? Then I realized, to my horror, that Sienna, one of the furry stinkers, was sound asleep in the bed with me. And the smell was coming from her. 

I was picturing poo everywhere. The floor, the walls, all over our $1,000 get the drift. So I scooped up Sleeping Beauty and took her into the bathroom for what I imagined would be yet another experience convincing me that cats are plenty of work and I do not want to ever have children. In the bathroom, Sienna yawned up at me. I held my breath and took a peek "under the hood".

Nothing. WTF? Where in the hell...? Sienna sniffed the air thoughtfully and then started grooming herself.

Turns out it was just one really disgusting litterbox visit that woke me up. Seriously gross. So guess who was stumbling around putting in a new glade plugin at 4:30 in the morning...?

I love my life.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Allow Me to Introduce Myself

So here's the scoop...

My name is Alyson, and I'll be 24 next month. I'm living in Orange County, CA. I'm working as a freelance marketing professional. I got laid off from a job I loved back in February, and because of that had to move back home with my mom and stepdad. I brought my 2 cats, 2 fish, boyfriend, and his tarantula with me. It's a pretty full house since my parents have 4 cats of their own. Luckily it's a big house and I get along very well with my parents-- mom and I are BFF.

I decided to go back to school! This summer I started summer school at a community college. I'm taking a math course. I hate math, but I need to pass it and get it out of the way. I have a midterm coming up. -gulp-

The boyfriend and I have been together over 2 1/2 years now. Love him to death. :)

That's pretty much the long and short of it right now...

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