Friday, November 15, 2013

Black Friday On Thanksgiving Thursday! Is Thanksgiving Still Thanksgiving Or Just Christmas Pre-Game?

I must admit.  I don't know a lot about Black Friday.  I do participate, but if Black Friday is a war, I am a foot soldier.  I follow orders.  I do what I am told.  Faith (and Aunt Crystal if we are in the same city) makes all the decisions.  Faith scouts out all the deals.  She decides what will be bought online and which store is a must to wait in line for the doors to open.  She maps things out for us, and her strategy is pretty flawless.  Faith is our General.  If I am not celebrating Thanksgiving with the rest of the family, she calls me and has me scout out the stores where I am.  This is a very serious time for us.  Seriously fun!  So much fun that I am torn on how to spend my Thanksgiving.

Now, normally we would have Thanksgiving dinner, relax, maybe meet up with relatives (or not) and begin putting up Christmas decorations (which takes days).  At some point during the night Faith decides if the Black Friday deals are worth standing in line for and if the weather is going to be a major problem.  By midnight she decides if we should just go to bed and hit the stores late, or take a nap and get in line at 3am, or just skip sleep altogether.  If it is skip sleep altogether, it might be because we need to shop online first and then get in line at the stores, or maybe a store is open at midnight.  I don't understand how it all works; I just follow orders.

This year is different.  This year stores will be open during Thanksgiving Day or at least by midnight on Black Friday.  I keep wondering how this will change Thanksgiving.  Does this mean the end of lines and the fear of being trampled when the store doors finally open? Does this mean the end of being outside in the cold for five hours just to get that new Xbox One or PS4 (PS4 vs Xbox One)? Does it mean the end of many old Thanksgiving traditions? Does it mean the end of many Black Friday traditions? Will we shop till we drop from Thanksgiving Day until end of Small Business Saturday? Are restaurants going to be open? Is Thanksgiving still the main event in November, or is it Christmas shopping? Is Black Friday still Black Friday if the stores never close? Is a deal still a deal, or should I buy what I really want December 26th? Are we having Thanksgiving, or are we having a Christmas Pre-Game?

PS Faith just informed me that Dec.4 may be the best day to shop. Black Friday is the busiest, but what's the best day to holiday shop?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Lose 5 pounds In One Day The Worst Way Possible! Warning Dietary Supplement (Beta-Alanine) Pre-Workout Supplement Has Side Effects (Hint:Runny Side Effects)

Okay, this is a cautionary tale of taking a free sample because it's there.  Earlier this week Faith and I decided to get our butts in gear and start being productive human beings.  Our work is just piling up because we have many different projects going on at once.  We are intending to diet, but we really have not become serious about dieting yet.  In fact Faith is not on a diet at all which makes what happened to her extremely awful and funny and terrible and funny again.  This is my account.

We'd been working for a while but on different projects and in different areas of the house.  I knew that Faith was going to be stuck working on the Vela's Villa website all day, but I also knew she had other stuff on her list as well.  I too had a list of things that had to be completed, and I must admit we were both successfully ticking things off our list, but we were both afraid we might lose some steam if we kept working the way we were.  Earlier that afternoon Faith reminded me that we had these energy drink-dietary supplement samples.  She asked me if I wanted to share a packet.  I assumed she thought that if we split it we would get less caffeine.  I assumed she thought of killing two birds with one stone by getting the energy to work and maybe burning a few extra calories.  To be clear she was not on a diet.  I, on the other hand, was attempting to fast that day.  I was feeling pretty good and could not risk anything going wrong.  So, I told her I wasn't going to try it.  I had a very bad feeling.

A few hours pass.  Faith forgot to take it.  She is getting things done, and then somehow the idea must have popped into her head again.  Again she asks me if I want to split the sample.  Now let me inform you I rarely, if ever, turn down a chance to experiment with a new diet supplement.  I am usually the first in line.  If it will help you lose weight, I will take it! So, imagine Faith's surprise when I said, "No, I don't want to."  There was a little voice inside my head that said if I drink this stuff I will REGRET it.  Maybe it was the packaging that warned me.  Maybe it was because I really didn't want to ruin my fast.  Little did I know my fast was about to get destroyed because at some point Faith took what she thought was a half portion of that sample.

Our family in general has a problem with side effects, and if there is a side effect it will manifest in Faith's body with a quickness.  I was taking a break in Joy's suite because my area is being worked on and Joy's suite is right across from Faith's.  Faith calls out to me and ask me if I had any Benadryl.  She is attempting to be calm.  She is trying not to scream.  She is trying not to scratch.  She is telling me as calmly as she can that she is having a reaction to that sample (Optimum Nutrition Platinum PRE- Pre-Workout Fruit Punch) she took.  Her body movement says volumes.  She is acting like her hands, arms and head are on fire.  We look throughout the house. I always buy Benadryl but this time there is not one pill in the house.  I had taken them all up to our place in the mountains.  I give her the topical version instead in hopes that it would help her hands; it doesn't.  Later that night we would learn that Benadryl would not have worked to stop this reaction anyway.

Faith kept saying her blood was making her itch uncontrollably.  The more upset she got, the faster her blood would move and the worse the itching-tingle would become.  She had to stop working and be calm.  She began to do research on this diet supplement and if there was a way to reverse the effects (Thread On Beta Alanine Experience).  Not only did she learn she would have to ride it out, but also she learned that there was another side effect, an "awful terrible" one.  She thanked god that she was being spared this particular one, but was she really being sparred?

We decide to give up on work (because Faith really needed to stay as calm as possible) and watch some episodes of a Korean drama Full House Take 2.  I, at this point, was still fasting.  Hamburgers were being made, good ones.  I was still refusing to eat.  Then Faith got the "terrible awful" side effect.  One minute she was sitting on the couch, the next she was running to her private bathroom with fear she would not make it up the stairs.  Our mother screamed, "Just use the bathroom downstairs," but we all thank God she didn't.  That is when Bryan decided that Faith would need to have some extra treats and left the house to get her potato chips and soda.  Faith was becoming dehydrated fast.  At this point I said "F it," and we all settled in for a long night.  The hamburgers were awesome.  Watching Faith run back and forth was hilarious!  She drank a two liter of ginger ale all to herself!  It was a long hard night.  By the end it hurt for her legs to stand.  By morning she had lost 5 pounds and she had gained the knowledge that she would never ever take anything with Beta-Alanine again! I am just happy I avoided a world of pain.  Seriously, I wish I had taped it.  It would be so funny to watch now!  As for me, I didn't gain or lose weight that night.