My, that's a big, bright banner for my modest, little back-to-school giveaway. Got to hook you somehow, though, right?
Here's what's at stake (or at steak?!): Thanks to the fine folks at Boca, I have some coupons for a free Boca product (of your choice) to give away. I've always liked Boca's Burgers--best, most beef-like, vegetarian ones I've tasted. I tried a couple of their new products at BlogHer, although I can't for the life of me remember what they were. I was in a low-blood-sugar fog/rage at the time, so my memory's a little hazy. I do remember the food was tasty, though, and it really saved me--kept me from passing out or attacking random passersby for their snacks.
To go with your Boca burgers (or whatever other Boca product you choose), I am also including a bottle of this new, healthier ketchup I've come across called Krazy Ketchup. This isn't your run-of-the-mill ketchup, no siree. (At $5.00 a 12oz bottle, it better not be). It's a puree of all sorts of organic vegetables--mostly tomatoes, of course. Aw heck, I'll just let the folks at Krazy Ketchup describe it for themselves:
My daughter and I like this ketchup, and not just because it's healthy. My son--not so much. This probably has more to do with texture than anything else, as it is a little thicker and denser than standard-issue ketchup. Keep in mind, though, that my son has a repertoire of about 4 foods he is willing to eat, not including chocolate. He hates, among other things, hot dogs, pudding, pancakes and doughnuts (what child does't like DOUGHNUTS????!!!). He's only ever liked one brand of chocolate milk, and when the stores in our area stopped carrying it, I fed him a different brand without telling him. BIG mistake. He could tell it was different at the first sip. So, no more chocolate milk for him. He also is willing to drink only ONE flavor of ONE particular brand of drinkable yogurt. And the child won't even TASTE honey or maple syrup. I think you can understand why I feel you shouldn't rely on my son's evaluation of the ketchup--or any other food product, for that matter. (Unless it's chicken nuggets--he's got a pretty good grasp of the subtleties of chicken nuggets. . .)
So--there will be three lucky winners in this contest, as I have three bottles of wild and Krazy Ketchup. There will be one or two coupons per winner for free Boca products, depending upon how many I decide to keep for myself. I may throw an extra surprise item in the package, too. But I'm not making any promises--so don't get all excited just yet.
In the interest of full disclosure, I will tell you that Boca provided me with the coupons, although I made no promises to review or mention their products for good or ill. The gals at Krazy Ketchup have no idea I'm doing this (at least until I e-mail them with an introduction to me and a link to my blog. . .), so they just owe me big-time.
How, you ask, do you actually enter to win this delicious (and exposition-heavy) contest? I was inspired, as I so often am, by my friend Florinda and her Ten on Tuesday post. This week, it was: 10 Things I Didn't Like About School. [Note: While I started drafting this post on Tuesday, I didn't have a chance to finish until today--so now you have Ten on Tuesday on Wednesday.]
While I listed all 10 things I disliked about school, I'm going to cut you a break. To win, you only need to leave a comment below with the 5 things you disliked or downright hated about school. Alternatively, you can post the 5 things on your own blog, then leave a comment below with a link back to your post. (Feel free to be far more succinct than I am). You can earn extra chances if you (a) link to my post on your blog, and/or (b) list the full 10 things.
The contest is open to residents of the US and Canada. And I reserve the right to choose the winners any way I want to, although I'll probably be using www.random.org because I think it is a cool site. The contest will end sometime toward the end of the week of September 1st. I haven't decided which day yet. I'll keep you posted on that, though.
1. PE. I sucked at sports. Or at least I thought I did. (I realized as an adult that I'm not that bad--or I finally matured into my physicality-- or whatever). And my performance generally lived down to my low expectations. (With a couple of weird exceptions, like being able to cradle, catch and throw with ease during Lacrosse. Too bad there was running involved, or I might've actually found my niche!) So, as is the case with geeks everywhere, I was always picked last. (I hope PE teachers have finally wised up to the cruelty inherent in such a system). Plus, for at least some of my school career, we had to wear these hideous one-piece, zipper-front, striped, blue and white (or more often, blue and dingy gray) gym uniforms, which, needless to say, reeked by the end of the week. We looked like convicts--and probably smelled worse.
2. Leaving Home. Pathetic case that I am, I continued to have separation anxiety (compounded by a strong case of hypochondria that only my mom could soothe) pretty much until high school. Lots of stomachaches, lots of calls to come pick me up, lots of absences. Luckily, it didn't affect my grades much.
3. Elementary School Cafeteria Rolls-or rather, their smell. I'll pretty much eat anything, including cafeteria food, but there was a kind of dinner roll my elementary school baked--and it had a very distinct aroma. I've only come across that particular smell a couple of times as an adult, but the negative olfactory connection is so strong that the smell induced nausea both times. It was a smell that permeated my elementary school and so I cannot separate the odor from the experience of school as a whole.
4. Recess-Yes, I may be the only person in the history of the world to dislike recess. I was so painfully shy and such a loner that I didn't really have anyone to play with after about 2nd grade. I therefore felt both left out and conspicuous. Recess, with it's lack of structure, was hell for me.
5. Wesley Bunch-The golden boy of my grade in elementary school. He had an angelic face, and a head full of cottony-soft, curly, blonde (and I mean tow-headed) hair. He thought he was da bomb (if that term had existed then). He was an obnoxious and annoying boy. He also had the temerity use the time we spent waiting in line to go into the library to spin himself dizzy, eventually falling down and cracking his chin open. A very large puddle of blood pooled below his pale, seemingly lifeless body. I almost threw up several times, was sick to my stomach the rest of the day and was utterly traumatized. Wesley came back to school with a bunch of stitches in his chin, hero status and the envy of every boy in our grade. (I'm sure he matured into a lovely adult, however.)
6. Math-I hated math and thought I was not that good at it. Until I hit 11th and 12th grades. Funny what a difference a GOOD math teacher can make.
7. Mean Girls-I don't think this needs an explanation. School-age girls can be vicious.
8. Riding the Bus-One year I was the last pick-up on the morning route. By the time I got on the bus, inevitably, all the seats were occupied by at least 2 people. The seats were ostensibly built for three--and maybe that works when you're 6 or 7, but when you're between the ages of 12 and 17, those seats are just too small for three people. This was horrible for me on two levels. First: No one wanted to share a seat with a third person, so every morning I had to piss someone off by asking to share a seat. Some kids were so unkind that they actually said no. For an exceedingly shy child, this daily humiliation amounted to torture of the most cruel and unusual kind. Second: I spent my bus ride with one butt cheek on and one butt cheek hanging precariously off the seat, trying to brace myself to keep from falling in the aisle and to keep my books from flying all over the bus as we whipped around corners and freeway off-ramps. It did help me understand some basic physics, though, albeit in a most personal and unpleasant way.
9. Stupid people-I guess in some ways I wasn't a terribly tolerant tot. (So my later shyness and the torture related thereto was perhaps karma coming back to bite me on the ass). I am ashamed now to say that the kids who just didn't get it annoyed me beyond belief, and having to go slowly for them bored me to tears. I'd like to think I'm a little more tolerant as an adult. Looking back and seeing my smug six-year-old self in the reading circle, impatient with kids who could barely sound their way through Tip The Dog, when I could have read it two years earlier does not make for a pretty picture. If possible, I was worse in kindergarten, where I scornfully refused to "read" what I now assume were the curricular pre-reading books because they didn't have any words, just pictures. (Think Good Dog, Carl, except with crappy illustrations and story lines).
10. Boys--This only lasted until late-middle school. I assume you can imagine the cause of my change of heart at around that time. Before that, though, boys just scared the life out of me. Having only sisters (and younger ones at that), I did not understand or know what to make of them and their strange and rowdy ways. Although I do remember having a crush on Robbie Ritchie in 2nd grade. . .not that I ever would have dared to talk to him.
Okay, now you've read my 10 things--it's time for you to share your 5 for a chance to win, and win big! And don't forget: linky-love and/or an extra 5 things will earn you extra chances. Go ahead, dredge up that past you thought (hoped) was forever buried in the darkest recesses of your memory. It's fun!