Sunday, July 27, 2014

Guilty pleasures vol. ten: auto service appointments

I love auto service appointments.

Doughnut selection
Brunswick Auto Mart, 2013
I love using the free internet, drinking the free shitty coffee (I even put a shake of the generic brand powdered creamer in there), and meandering around the gleaming new cars with a blandly curious expression.

The bathroom at the Mini Cooper dealership was nicer than my whole house.

I mean COME ON, what about those doughnuts? Who'll take which one? And who doesn't love watching a sales guy try and sneak a pink frosted wonder with sprinkles when no one's looking (but you can bet I am, Mr. Sales Guy).

One time at the Brunswick Auto Mart there was a play area for kids that had a really cool looking toy. I didn't play with it, but I wanted too.

Here's a movie I made during a 2009 service visit at the Mini Cooper dealership.


Like I noted in the vid, the Mini dealership always had fancy snacks: tiny frosted cupcakes and your higher-end cookies and bars. I didn't care about any of that, but the bagels? Who the hell isn't going to eat a big chewy pizza bagel courtesy of Mini Cooper?

This one time, I was eying the last pizza bagel and what the hell happens? Some skinny Mini Cooper chick in really high heels starts orbiting the snack table like she might snap up that last pizza bagel.

So I go online (using the free internet [ha!]) and ask the twitterverse what I should do.

"If she takes it, knock her down!"

"Run over there right now and push her out of the way."

When she just got tea and moved back to her reception area domain, I went and got the bagel.

"Stand down," I tweeted. "The O'Brien's got the pizza bagel."

That's the sort of edge-of-the-seat drama that plays out when you're at your auto service appointment.

My highest hope is to witness a manager giving a sales guy the evil eye for taking a doughnut. I imagine he'll clear his throat loudly, then say something like, "Stevens, meet me in my office when you have a chance," while pulling up the doughnuts-are-for-customers speech in his head.

Then Stevens will dither for a moment or two thinking, Do I put this cream-filled chocolate frosted beauty back in the box or not? After all, I already touched it.

I say he keeps it.

Vintage Microbus art, Brunswick VW dealership

As you may have surmised, this post was inspired by the VeeDubs' one-year scheduled service appointment. No, nothing cool happened like the skinny-chick-pizza-bagel thing or sales-guy-gets-popped-for-doughnut, but I didn't care.

I enjoy auto service visits so much, dear reader, it is not beyond me to saunter into a random dealership and act like a regular person waiting in the service lounge: use the free internet and see how fancy the bathroom is.

And if I opt to crash a Lexus or Mercedes dealership, image the snacks they'll have there. They might even have one of those snotty brews-a-cup-at-a-time coffee machines.

Heh heh heh.

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

An open letter to Gabe Nabors of Mustard Seed Market

Dear Mr. Nabors,

First off, please know how much I love Mustard Seed Market. I love walking into your store (I patronize the Fairlawn location). I love browsing the aisles, which are brimming with a dazzling selection of goods. I love the health and beauty aisle to a fault. Your employees are consistently top-notch and a delight to interact with.

The last lunch I shared with my dad before he died suddenly in 2002 was at your café.

I'm writing to let you know that I will continue to shop at Mustard Seed no matter what happens with the Eden Foods birth control coverage controversy, but I will never ever select one of their products from your shelves.

Here is an excerpt from the Eden Food's 2013 complaint to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan:
The Affordable Care Act, through a Mandate from the United States Department of Health and Human Services, attacks and desecrates a foremost tenet of the Catholic Church, as stated by Pope Paul VI in His 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae, that "any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation, whether as an end or as a means"—including contraception, abortion, and abortifacients—is immoral and unnatural.
To imagine the management of a for-profit corporation imposing those beliefs upon its employees is profoundly chilling. Please consider the implications of continuing your business relationship with Eden Foods.

Thank you for all you do and for all your employees do.


Erin O'Brien

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Something gentle

I'm afraid, dear readership, that the headlines this weekend have left me humbled. I like to be a bright spot in an otherwise dark world, but quips and funny anecdotes don't seem appropriate with bodies strewn about Ukraine, Gaza, Syria and Iraq as well as our own fare and troubled country. And yes, I realize that list is not inclusive, but I just don't have it in me to make it so.

Hence, I'm offering up a few snaps from my weekend and profound thanks for all the gentle things that color my life.

The Sunday Market with Jessie

The old BF Goodrich stacks keeping watch over downtown Akron

The American Toy and Marble Museum

Stunning art at the Transformer Station

Open air lunch at The Game with Eric

Cleveland Tea Revival

Dean Rufus's House of Fun

Lastly, a random pic from inside this town I love

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Phone cam round-up

An admirable full disclosure effort

Either a Poltergeist moment or a television that has behaved very badly

Alternative foundation display

Among other things, yes, I am!

Coffee machine that longs to one day become a boombox

Or FOUND COCKTAIL in another universe

Did the Slinky beget Hope Springs or vice versa? Fishing license, please.

Table for one

Gypsy Rose clothing will make you look like this ...

... housecoats from Kmart will make you look like this.

Dazzling jewelry display at the discount grocery

Voort+man=the world's most disturbing name for a cookie

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