Sunday, January 27, 2008

Ralph's, what are you trying to say?

According to stickers plastered all over food products at my local grocery, Great Meals Start At Ralph's.

Over capitalization aside, I can see their point.

While bright orange circles with crap grammar are not my particular cup of marketing tea, I appreciate the inexpensive and eye catching style that Ralph's has chosen to use to appeal to the everyman that shops there. Great Meals Start At Ralph's. It makes sense, purchase ingredients there, use them to make a great meal. Be it the beginning to a simple picnic or a fairly complex holiday meal, it can all be purchased from Ralph's, cause Great Meals Start There.

I get marketing, I really do. I love marketing. I am a complete packaging whore and will buy pretty much anything in a purple bottle, box or can. I love when companies re-brand themselves. I love to look at the styles of print and colors and try to figure out who they are, or are attempting to, sell to and what image they are trying to put forth.

Sadly sometimes marketing confuses me. I am not stupid but sometimes the marketing simply doesn't fit the product. But haven't we all seen commercials that don't make sens,? ones that may be mildly entertaining but have nothing at all to do with what they are trying to sell? I read in a business journal once that this was a recent rend in marketing; attempting to market products with a weird ad just to confuse the consumer. The thinking behind this was that if a person was confused about an ad they saw, at least they would be thinking about it, or even better, discussing it with someone.

While its possible that some test audiences were polled and a very expensive marketing account was involved with those Orange Stickers, I don't think they were exactly clear to their store lackeys as to where to put the stickers exactly.

Recently my roomie went to Ralph's to pick up on some staples. He inadvertently brought home The Magic Marketing Sticker:

On the toilet paper.

Pardon me, but I don't like to think about what goes into my Great Meals when I am using my Quilted Northern. And really I don't think the marketing team behind the Ralph's grocery stores really wanted those things associated in my head either.
Great Meals Start At Ralph's and apparently somebody at Ralph's wants us to know that Ralph's is there for us when our Great Meals come to their Very End too.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Irvine Farmers Market

Last Saturday I took a trip to Irvine to the Farmers market at UCI.
Not too many of the varieties of fruits and veggies, really surprised me. What did strike me is how truly lucky we are to live in southern California. Here it is, the middle of January and I was outside in shirt sleeves on a gorgeous day.

Here in So Cal we have access to fairly good quality produce year round. Although those artichokes and tomatoes looked a bit shady ;) I think I'll wait a few more months.

Irvine has a significant Asian population and there were lots of varieties of Asian produce. The one I had never seen before was a variety of broccoli that was in loose leaf bunches and had these tiny bright yellow flowers on the ends. Of course my picture of those didn't come out. At a different table full of Asian produce there were these:

They were not labeled. Right next to the mystery produce were these. These were marked Bok Choy.

Further down the same table they had these cool. purple yams. I had heard of these but never seen them in raw form like this. They had sliced one open so you could see the inside.

Right next to the purple yams were these beautiful sharkfin squash. They looked like winter melons to me but I am going to take the word of the vendor.
Sitting behind the bin of fresh ginger there in the background they had a HUGE melon/squash. You can't really tell from the pic but this melon was more than three feet long!

It was massive!!

What did strike me was that there were lots of people selling lots of non-food items. One lady was selling jewelry and another was selling hand made bedroom slippers!

There were people selling local honey and tamales from Carlsbad. Also two tables selling home made breads and a few varieties of baked goods. This surprised me and I had to go look. Many of the breads were in plastic bags filled with condensation. I'm sure the general public would be excited to see this, but the baker in me just thought "Ick!"

Half a dozen vendors were all grouped at one end selling fresh flowers and plants and small trees. Beautiful!

So what I took most from this is that I am spoiled to live here and I have been exposed to most of these types of produce all of my life and we are very lucky to be able to get most of it year round. I can't wait to go back in a few weeks ansee what new items they have to offer.

Blog for Choice

Blog for Choice Day

Today is the 35th anniversary of Roe V Wade.
From wiki: According to the Roe decision, most laws against abortion in the United States violated a constitutional right to privacy under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
They were right 35 years ago and they are still right today. It should be my choice to have a baby or not. People who do not know me or my circumstances should have no say in what I should do if I become pregnant.
My friend Angela made a great point this morning in her blog. She wrote that being pro choice does not mean you are pro abortion. I personally do not believe in using abortion as a form of birth control, although I have known someone who did. In my head I see those right to lifers screaming about saving all of the unborn, but honestly, would you rather she be able to keep getting pregnant over and over and that the governement should force her to have all of those children? Do you think someone whose heart has been so hardened by the life they have lived that forcing a child into their lives would improve the quality of it? What about the child's quality of life?
I remember reading a letter-to-the-editor in one of my teen magazines probably 20 years ago now. It was from a 19 year old girl. In it she wrote that she wished her mother had aborted her. Think about that. She truly wished she had never been born. She wasn't just having a bad day or a bad week. She had never known happiness, or love.
Her mother gave birth to her in a bathroom and had stuck her in a trash bag and threw her away. She wrote 'unfortunately' someone found her. She was rejected by her mother, bounced from grandparents who openly told her she was unwanted into foster care system which felt no need to make her feel loved, just give her the basics of food, clothes and shelter. She was now out of the system attempting to piece together a life from nothing. She had never been loved or wanted or cared for in any meaningful way. She thought of suicide daily.
I think about her often, especially when Roe v Wade is being threatened. She is surely not the only person to be raised as unwanted, to be living a half a life in our good Christian society.
So to those who came before me who had the emotional fortitude to forge a new trail all those years ago, to those who fought for my right to choose, I will be forever grateful.