What will never be on my bucket list….Never say Never?

There are several common items on most people’s bucket list that will be never have a place on my bucket list: A cynical and slightly humorous look at why they will never be.

1) Bungee Jumping: I find no thrill in being hurled at the earth umpteen miles per hour and tricking my brain into thinking it is going to be slammed into the ground below.. I never liked carnival rides that involved that free fall feeling; it makes me sick to my stomach. My body (or brain) is not set up for that. Of course, there is the obvious danger of the bungee cord breaking. Although, I recently saw a show about bungee jumping and research shows that it usually is not the bungee that breaks in most bungee accidents, but it is the platform that the bungee is attached to that breaks….. now I feel so much better… NOT!

Sky Diving: It has a danger similar to that of bungee jumping except that if your parachute doesn’t open you are almost guaranteed instant death whereas with bungee jumping you have a slight chance of living and might only be paralyzed for the rest of your life. I don’t like that free-falling feeling… I find no thrill in it and again… it makes me sick. I will view the beautiful scenery from a plane above thank you! Besides…. have you ever seen film footage of a skydivers face? The skin is flapping in the wind at a rate so fast it looks like the ripple effect of an atomic bomb. No Botox will fix that damage.

Riding the world’s tallest, most vertical water slide: I love water parks probably more than most people. They did not exist when I was a child. The biggest water thrill in my day was the high dive at the YMCA or the slip-n-slide on our lawn. I didn’t care that I had rug burn-like abrasions on my body as long as I got the thrill of the slide. But modern-day water parks have added a whole new element to thrill. A few years ago I suggested that on our vacation we go to a water park for one of our day excursions. I was so excited! With my husband by my side (his first time too) I raced him to the smallest vertical slide I could see. I did not understand why they had a line. Wasn’t it just like on the playground at recess as a kid? Just get on the slide and GO I thought. We were lined up side by side and told to keep our arms and our ankles crossed. So we did. And down the slide we went faster than a speeding bullet. What a thrill…. I screamed like a child. It was fun… until I hit the bottom and water shot up my nostrils and eyelids at lightning speed. Didn’t need to use the Netti-pot this day and I had blurred vision for the rest of the day. I was able to keep my ankles crossed…. barely though. I know I could not tolerate a slide with a higher altitude. I learned my lesson fast. Any higher water pressure and my ankles would have spread apart faster than a prostitute on a field trip to a prison. No thanks… no enema for me today! I spent the rest of my day at the kiddy area of the water park getting laughed at.

Climbing Everest: why would anyone even try this? Some people don’t come back. They have memorials along the trek to remind you. It would take me years of strict exercise and diet to even come close to the physical stamina needed and even then I would fall short. My ego is not that big. I will give the trophy to someone else in a heartbeat. It is cold up there at the top and there isn’t much oxygen; at least that is what I hear. I like oxygen! I will stick to the bunny hill at the local ski resort. They have great hot chocolate at those lodges you know!

I’m sure there are many other things that are on most people’s bucket list that I wouldn’t think of entertaining and I will add them to this list as I remember them. But for now maybe you should consider what is on your list.

How to make a donut go viral

English: A box of Krispy Kreme Original Glazed...

English: A box of Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Doughnuts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Krispy Kreme Lives In Japan!

Krispy Kreme Lives In Japan! (Photo credit: palindrome6996)

How to make a donut that no one can resist. Do you want to know the secret to making a donut that will keep the customers coming in droves? Then listen up.

I am a donut connoisseur. I know a good donut when I see one. Yes… “see one”. I can almost always tell when a donut is going to be mouth-watering good when I see one. I see donut businesses come and go and I have a very good record of predicting if a donut shop will make it or not. But… just to “make it” shouldn’t be  enough.

Let me tell you what I mean by making a donut go “viral”. What I mean by viral is having a donut so delicious that customers can’t stay away for very long. It means having long lines at your store and orders for office meetings that you can’t possibly fill. It means being the enemy of dieters globally. You will be on the hit list of Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers both, LOL! At the very least my advice will increase your profits to some degree.

Having a donut go “viral” is defined by me as equal or greater than the donut sales and reputation of Krispy Kremes and/or Winchells’s Donut’s. How do you think these businesses started a franchise? Because it all started with a good donut. Remember, just because a donut shop goes out of business does not mean that the donuts were not “viral” in taste. Any good business can go under because of poor management. If you own a donut shop or are thinking of opening one then this message is for you. If you are a donut connoisseur like myself than you will appreciate this article just due to the sheer enjoyment of thinking about a good donut. A good donut is hard to find.

The message is very simple. There are two concepts that must be  followed. 1) Bigger  is “Not” better. 2) Icing is your friend.  I know… contrary to popular belief. How many times have you seen advertised “home of the world’s largest cinnamon roll” only to find out that is all that was special… the size. Just to prove this point, look at who capitalized on the idea that ” bigger is not better”? Cinnabon. Cinnabon makes a wonderful small cinnamon roll and went “viral” in the cinnamon roll business. Cinnabon rolls are also covered in icing and they will scrape the bottom of the pan for you to add more to your roll. This makes for a more moist and flavorful cinnamon roll. Think about it. What about plate size pancakes that a lot of restaurants advertise? I hate those. I prefer the dollar size pancakes they served me as a child on the children’s menu because the are tender and moist, unlike the plate-sized pancakes that are beautiful on one side and leathery, dark and overcooked on the other ( a common trick used by lazy chefs all over the world).

The idea is simple… bigger is not better because food items with bread or dough get dried out the longer they cook and it takes longer to cook something the thicker it is. Most family owned donut shops make the fatal mistake of making the “cake” donut very puffy and tall with very little icing. This is a double no-no in my book. An ideal cake donut should be “small” and covered in icing…. not just on the top but the sides too. It is the icing that keeps the moisture locked in and provides for extra sweetness. Who wants a dried out cake donut with very little icing? Not many people. If you do like your donut on the dry side there are plenty of other donut choices such as the krueller, old-fashioned, or just a simple plain donut that is usually dunked in coffee. They wouldn’t have to “dunk” if the donut wasn’t so dry. I do agree though that coffee is delicious with donuts and there is nothing more appetite stimulating than the smell of hot donuts and fresh hot coffee wafting through the air. There is a place for those dry donuts in every donut shop, but it won’t generate the business like a delicious cake donut or a glazed ring donut. I will pay a premium price for a “viral” donut.

This brings me to the glazed donut. The glazed donut is a favorite. But a glazed donut is just another glazed donut unless you stick to the idea that “bigger is not better”. When I think of a great glazed donut I think of two places: Krispy Kremes and Winchell’s donuts. Why? Because their glazed donuts are so much smaller than the average. They are not too fluffy and high. They are completely covered in icing. Again… remember, small and mostly “covered” in icing. The icing preserves the moisture and adds flavor.  Remember, The more fluffy… the drier the donut…. the less icing, the drier and less tasty of a donut. It is that simple. Krispy Kremes gets it and proves my point. They sell there glazed donuts by the dozen at the drive-thru and has a sign that flashes when the “fresh and hot” donuts are ready. And inside there is usually a long line. Because bottom line… “fresh” is best. A fresh donut is a donut with a moist inside and an ample coverage of proofed icing. Wet icing is a no-no. If I go to a donut shop and try a donut and it is just mediocre and somewhat dry, I will NOT come back!

Those are the two golden rules to making a donut go viral. But a few other suggestions won’t  hurt either. Give samples to people in line. It will increase your sales. Look at Costco. Do you think they are going under because they give samples? No, I usually purchase at least one product of the ten samples I try when I visit Costco. Do you know why? It is an appetite stimulant! I will try things they offer even if I have tried them before. Also, remember add a few fun icing colors to the cake donuts such as pink (cherry flavored) or orange. The children and grown up children love them. Also remember you don’t have to go crazy with sprinkles. This is another myth. Yes, you must use sprinkles, but let the icing show through. Less is better again. You will also save money using less sprinkles. Another thing… a lot of donut shops place the cake donuts low on the shelf where the children can see them but try putting them on the top shelf as well for the adults too. We are all kids when it comes to donuts… sometimes we just don’t want to admit it. Using these ideas and rules will increase your sales. You need to build up a reputation first, so don’t expect results right away. But the repeat business and good word-of-mouth will pay the bills and satisfy the donut connoisseurs of the world.

How odd I am…..

I have realized that I read magazines from back to front. I start at the front page and find myself quickly flipping to the back page and sort through the pages looking for stories of interest. Of all the unusual human behaviors in the world, I am sure I am alone in my ‘weirdness’. I have tried to figure out why I do this. Here are some of the ideas I have come up with… am I like an impatient kid at Christmas unwrapping the gift (looking for the good stuff) before I am supposed to? But, I never was a kid like that. My mom was a poor gift hider and I knew where she hid stuff. I never wanted to see gifts before Christmas because the rush at Christmas was better than knowing prematurely. In fact, I would get pissed off if I saw any of my gifts beforehand. I thought my mom should have done a better job of hiding them an I told her so repeatedly.  Go figure! Maybe I have some unknown mental thing related to dyslexia. I am an entrepreneur and approach some things differently than the mainstream. I am a completely unique person. Aren’t we all? I have very good morals. But, I feel different.

You might assume because I feel like an outsider and do not follow the mainstream that I am full of tats and piercings. Truth is … I don’t have one tattoo on my body and the only piercing I have is the one in my ear lobes… the old fashioned small invisible ones. I can appreciate others tattoos but for me I would feel like another sheep in line. Tattoos and unusual piercings are all too commonplace. Besides, I know myself well enough to know that no matter how well I like a picture or piece of art, I would be bored with it after awhile and be completely irritated that I was stuck with it for life. I wouldn’t mind a temporary tattoo. If I really like a picture or a piece of art, I will frame it and hang it on a wall. For me a tattoo is like a bumper sticker on a brand new car… less is better. I have seen a couple of tattoos that I do appreciate. One was a stamp of a newborn baby’s foot on the back of the calf of the parent. I also appreciate a small reminder tattoo in the memory of someone who has passed. For me, those are the only ones I would consider. I like fashion and trends just as much as the next person; maybe more. But I can only ride the train for a little while and then I want off. I don’t want any fashion or social trend to follow me throughout my life. I will stick with trendy clothing and trendy jewelry… something that I can choose on a daily basis to follow. It’s just me. I told you I am odd. I don’t follow the mainstream. I remind myself that just because someone gets tattoos or piercings that I wouldn’t just means that they did it for there OWN reasons. We all have different reasons for approaching life as we do. Even though I don’t participate in something doesn’t mean that I don’t believe that others don’t have a right to do so. I respect that. I am just pointing out that just because someone doesn’t follow the current social norms doesn’t mean that they are weird. It just means that we are all individuals and different in our own right.

Do you have any odd human behaviors? I would love to hear them.   

New spelling for a new age?

OK, maybe it’s not “new” spelling, but what the heck is going on? Have you noticed that the spelling of a lot of words are evolving? For example the word “nite” it is being used so much in this form; usually in advertising and such, that I think the younger generation does not know how to spell “night”. What about “flavour”? The last I knew it was spelled “flavor”… Is there a meaning that I am not aware of …. please let me know? I am behind the times with technology sometimes. Are there any words that you have noticed that are being spelled differently to be catchy? I think it can be cute or catch the eye when used in moderation but when they are used to be trendy or too often, I feel it is a sign of trying too hard to be current. I have really noticed that the different spellings are becoming common place and as a luddite, I am resisting. At least for now. What are some words that you have noticed changing?

IMTA: The time of our life’s

My daughter with Michael Maddox

My daughter with Michael Maddox

My daughter with Branden Rickman winner of So You Think You Want To Be A Supermodel

My daughter with Branden Rickman winner of So You Think You Want To Be A Supermodel

Jeans competition IMTA

English: Westin Bonaventure Hotel as seen from...

English: Westin Bonaventure Hotel as seen from the platform of 444 S. Flower Street, Los Angeles. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jeans Competition

Jeans Competition

The winning fierce look

The winning fierce look

1st Place trophy for Runway/fashion print

1st Place trophy for Runway/fashion print

Awards Night IMTA

Awards Night IMTA

Last year my daughter was selected from our small town in Oregon to fly to Los Angeles, California to attend IMTA. She competed in modeling and acting. IMTA stands for International Modeling and Talent Association. It is a national convention where aspiring models, actors, and singers are seen by the top agents in the world. It is a true honor to be invited. My daughter and I flew to LA and stayed at the plush Westin Bonaventure hotel. We felt spoiled, it was a very beautiful hotel. The top floor was a revolving restaurant. The elevators were see through capsules attached to the outside of the building so you got a great view of the city as you rode up and down them. A Clint Eastwood movie was filmed on these cool elevators years ago and  many other movies as well.

The convention lasted  five days. There were many categories of competition such as runway, jeans, bathing suit, monologue, just to name a few. At the end of the week there is an awards and entertainment party. Oh my goodness! The party was beautiful! White linen tablecloths with candelabras and butlers standing stiff with a white clothe draped over their arm just ready to jump to serve you. There where celebrity guests. Switch the winner from So You Think You Can Dance was there to do his cool dance. Lots of celebrity models were there from some of the television shows such as So You Think You’re a Supermodel? It was a lot for this country girl to take in…I loved every minute of it.

During the first day my daughter selected for the Michael Maddox fashion show that was to take place at the awards show at the end of the week. For those of you that don’t know, Michael Maddox has directed and produced many of the Victoria Secret Fashion shows. So it was an honor for her to be picked for the first round of cuts. Unfortunately, she didn’t make the other two rounds of cuts for that show. She felt honored though as we were told he only picks girls that are over 5’9 and my daughter is 5’7. She did get a picture with Michael Maddox. My daughter did win first place in runway and fashion print. She also won fourth place in fitness model of the year. Wow! what an honor! She had many call backs overall.

IMTA is where Eva Longoria, Katy Holmes and Ashton Kutcher were discovered. There are a bunch of celebrities that have been discovered at IMTA  over the years, as it is the place to get noticed.

During our week-long stay we visited the Hollywood walk of fame. I was a little surprised at the panhandlers that approached us every few feet though. It was a little daunting as they got really close to our faces and begged for money. They were scary looking and some of them didn’t look very healthy to say the least.

We didn’t get to see a lot of things in LA as the schedule was very grueling. The contestants were up before the crack of dawn and got to bed well after midnight. We did take a stroll downtown close to the hotel and went in the LA county library. I would recommend going there as I think it was beautiful! It is not your usual library. It is a show piece.

I loved seeing all the palm trees in California and I missed the warm weather as I grew up in Southern California and had not been there for over 25 years. I felt like a homing pigeon who had just come back home; even with all the smog! It was the time of our life’s and we made a lot of mother-daughter memories we will never forget. I am posting some of our pictures for you all. I hope you enjoy!