Friday, September 20, 2019

Erin Condren Fall Seasonal Box Unboxing and EasyPress 2

Are you a Childless Millennial Who Goes to Disney?

This is based on a Quora answer I gave to someone who wanted to know what I thought about this woman who had a rant, but first ...
Ok, I have a rant.  It is no ordinary rant.  This is a Disney rant of sorts.  No, I am not complaining about the millions of people who visit the parks each year, and it does not matter if you are in Japan, France, China, or the United States when you visit the parks.  No, it is not the prices, well at least this time.  There are ways to save money when visiting Disney, especially Walt Disney World, which I plan on sharing with you in the next few months.  It is not even how I am getting there, and where I am staying.  Since I mostly focus on the Orlando park, Walt Disney World, I know there are plenty of places to stay, including Disney owned resorts on property, non-Disney own resorts both on and off property, houses around the Walt Disney World area in case you want to visit SeaWorld, Bush Gardens, or Universal Studios Orlando.  I will get to all of that in the next few weeks.
No, my rant is about the rant that was heard around the world.  Someone asked me on Quora about a mom, who was fed up with childless Millennial couples who visit Walt Disney World each year, or when she visits them.  She wants to ban them.
The setup….
This woman, who I am going to call, Jane, was visiting Walt Disney World with her son, who was 3 years old.  This happened about a couple of years ago.  She was in line to get her son a pretzel. The line was quite long, as most Walt Disney World lines are when you have a crowd of people.  She’s tired, and so is her son.  She gets mad at a millennial who has a pretzel, and instead of ignoring the fact the young lady got a pretzel, Jane gets out of line, with her now screaming 3 years old, and along the way, probably to another ride, preferably to her resort room, gets on social media, and writes to the tune of, “this childless _____ got the last pretzel, and now my child is upset because he did not get his pretzel.  These childless millennials need to be banned from Walt Disney World.”
This is not her exact wording, but the meaning is just the same. How does she know if this person did not have a child?  She could have gotten the pretzel for her own child, who was waiting.  More on that when I gave my answer on Quora.
My answer…
I first read this on Twitter, after a woman reposted it on her Twitter account.  I wanted to know why, since she was reading it for the first time since it was originally posted, why the person had to re-tweet it? Sometimes, the best way to keep the peace is to never repeat it, by mouth, or by social media.  Social media is the worst because it starts an online war, and this re-post started a “Rant Heard Around the World” (The World? Disney World?  Get it?) So this is how I came up with the title of this post by the same name.
This re-post of a post went viral in a big way.  Please note:  I am not trying to start it again, nor do I want to.  I made my peace when I put in my $.02 into it and frankly I am very appalled by the statement.  I will have more about that in a moment on how it affects me, a non-millennial, but here is my response after the question resurfaced on Quora:
“Ok, here we go again. Round 4000. I am going to break it down to you like this:
I have a saying…You do You. simple. if you have no problems going to Disney as a Millennial, as a Gen x (which I am), Baby Boomer, War baby (that’s my parents), or one foot in the graver (those over 100 years old), and you have no children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, occasional annoying neighbor’s child (to which their parents should be taking them, but eh), then you have as much right to be at Disney World, Disneyland, Tokyo Disney, Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disney (I do not suggest going there at the moment-They’re having major issues), and Shanghai Disney as a person with children. Simple as that. (you can take a breath now)
But seriously…. No one has the right nor the privilege to tell you where you can spend your hard-earned vacation dollars at. If you like Disney (to which I am a huge fan), then go for it. I read it and I saw the video, and the woman is nuts. She is just a tired person who is used to getting her way as a child. she brings in her 3-year old, who is also tired, and hungry. Disney has enough food to feed the entire island of The Bahamas, and she chooses to be a PITA that day. I would have said to her, that if she would wait, they will bring more out. no use cursing out the person in front of you if the pretzel stand ran out of pretzels. They can and will make more. To call anyone a childless millennial who does not belong at Disney is not her call anyway, it is Disney’s call.
So that is my long way to address the childless problem because she was being childish, and having more of a tantrum than her 3-year old, who probably calmed down after 2 minutes.”
Breaking down my answer…. “You do You”.
I am getting so tired of people poking their noses where they do not belong, especially when it comes to public property.  Last I checked, Disney World is public property, not private.  When you have private property, you have the right to invite anyone you care to invite.
You do You….
If you are in your right mind, and not a child, you can pretty much run the gambit on what you can do in the world and in this country.  That does not mean that it is right.  In this country, we do not have a Shreya Law (women must cover their heads or their whole body), we have the right to bear arms, and we have the right to speak our mind.  We have opinions in this country, that are just that, opinions.  This is where “You do You” comes in.  You have the right to do whatever is within the law of this country, moral law, and some good old-fashioned common sense.
Childless Millennials….
This is where Jane got into trouble.  She chose to stand in line with her child.  This was her choice.  I am thinking that this was around 3 pm in the afternoon.  She was in the parks (it did not say which one, Disney World has 4 to choose from) and it was hot.  Her child was hungry.  Most children do get hungry at that time of day, and this is when they also need a nap.   Jane saw a young woman, who did not have a child with her.  This does not suggest that she did not have any children.  They could have been on a ride, getting something to eat, or in another park with another adult.  This mother went by what she saw, and that she was tired, her child was tired and hungry, and she was angry because this young woman got a pretzel, which is what her child wanted. After calling the young woman every name in the cursed book she can think of at the time on social media, Jane saw some teens, and assume they were childless too.  That is when she decided, not Disney, that any childless couple should be banned from a Disney park.
When did you get to decide? ….
With the comment that Jane made on social media, I had to wonder how did she come to that conclusion?  Clearly, the woman did not say anything to her, and neither did the group of teens.  At any rate, everyone was minding their own business, except Jane.  Oh, I forgot to mention that her child cried as soon as they moved out of line, and the comment she made was “thanks for making my child upset” (enter the childless couple remark).  Jane did not have to leave at that moment.  I do not know if the pretzel stand ran out of pretzels, and if she made the whole thing up to get out of line.
Disney has plenty of food, and plenty of pretzel stands, so Jane’s child would have gotten his pretzel.  So I do not see what the big deal of her getting her child a pretzel at that specific stand.  Yes, I have seen Disney run out of food before on several YouTube videos, but most people do not make a big deal out of the situation because they have experience with Disney and crowds.  Disney knows how to prepare for such a case.  They may not have pretzels when you want them and at that particular stand, but these CM’s (Cast Members AKA employees) are training for such a time as this-crowds.
Who’s crankier, mommy or baby?
 Ok, I will admit, I have had my moments where I spoke before I think.  I would like to think that she was having an off day.  When you find yourself having an off day on vacation, do something that takes you away from the situation (pretzel carts and crowds).  Do something pleasant, and I assume that Jane’s family had a resort room.  If you do not live around Orlando (or whatever city you are visiting a Disney park), please take a break.  Even if you live there, go home, and take a break.  Remove yourself from the situation, even if you have to leave with a crying child who only wants to eat something.
Once there, rest, take a nap or do an activity around the resort.  There is plenty to do at Disney that does not involve a park, even at the international parks.  Once rested, you can resume being in the parks, and enjoying yourself.
Also, one thing to note:  Children can take clues from their parents.  If you are upset, so is your child.  Children at a young age do not know emotion like the rest of us.  All they know is they are upset when they see their parent upset.  So most likely, the young woman (who I will name Kathy) did not upset the child.  Jane was putting the blame where is it did not belong.
Childless part 2
This is the part of the tweet that upsets me the most.  Not everyone knows my story, but as hard as I wanted children, I physically cannot have any.  That privilege was taken from me at the age of 29 through a medical condition.  I have tried to adopt in the past, and I still can, but it is harder to raise a child without a second parent. This is why her rant makes me so angry with Jane for making the comment.  I enjoy Disney though the eyes of my nieces and nephews, and my young cousins.  To tell me that I cannot go into Disney without a child of my own is the most selfish thing that a person can ever say to me and millions of people like me.
Plus not only that, how is Disney going to enforce this ban? Going back to saying that Disney parks are public property and as long as you follow the rules, you can visit the parks anytime they are open.  There are a few exceptions, like punching CMs in the face, carrying a concealed weapon, starting a riot (like carrying political signs or fighting with family members inside the parks), and so on.  There is a list, but I do not remember being without a child is one of them.
If you do not know the whole story of a person’s life does not criticize a group of people who may not have any control over what happens in their life.  I am blessed to be surrounded by so many nieces and nephews, and friend’s children, who I call my nieces and nephews, it makes it easier for me that if God does not put a child in my path for me to be a foster or adoption parent, I have lived my life surrounded by children.  I am a single person who wants to get married to a wonderful man, with or without children, and I am old enough to have step-grandchildren who I can take to Disney.  Plus, Disney is not that important to me as my
family is to me. I am not going to let some stressed-out mother tell me what I can or cannot do with my hard-earned money.  I am sure these Millennials will not let her either.
So the moral of this story is please remove yourself when you feel stressed to the point that you have to air your frustration on social media.  Remain calm, allow others to enjoy their day (including reading social media posts), and enjoy your vacation, and you will not be the subject of someone’s re-tweet.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Diversity, Disney Style

Once again, this topic came from this question on Quora:
If Disney is making Ariel black, why aren't they making Prince Eric black as well?
My Answer:
“Disney believes in diversity. In 1997, Disney showed a production on the Wonderful World of Disney, with Brandy as Cinderella, and Whitney Houston as the Fairy Godmother. The Prince was mixed, Whoopie Goldberg played the Queen Mother and I forgot who played the King. Cinderella had a White stepmother, who was played by Bernadette Peters, and she had a black step sister and a white stepsister.
It is their belief that everyone should see themselves as that character, any character when they watch their movies”.
Oh, my goodness, where do I begin with this post?
Photo by P.Lynne Designs
Let’s start with a PSA, shall we?  As much as pains me to say this, there is more than one race in the world.  OK, let me take that a step further and not throw color into this discussion:  There is only one race, the human race.  We are all a mixture of different skin tones and hues. No one should say that their skin tone is better than another, but we do.
With that, let’s address the elephant in the room, Ariel is black, prince Eric is not.  I remember in a scene of the animated Little Mermaid, where there were different shades and sizes of mer-people swimming throughout the ocean, and they were not all white.  Some were brown, tan, and white.  Some were male and some were female.  Some were tall and skinny, while others were fat and chubby.  In other words, like our own world.
People like to see characters who look like them.  At first, the only thing that I could relate to from Disney was an old man in Song of the South, which sort of, okay, was a little on the racist side, but back in the 60s, they were racist.  I am going to call it out there.  Disney’s next attempt was a bunch of lions in The Lion King.  Sorry, but the only black voiced actors was James Earl Jones (who much to my happiness reprised his role in this year’s version) as Mufasa and Marge Sinclair (who passed away due to cancer) as Sarabi.  The rest were white actors, including Jeremy Irons as Scar and Mathew Broderick as Simba.  The last animated movie, that is in The Little Mermaid’s wheelhouse, was The Princess and the Frog where Tiana was black and Prince Lavigne was Mexican? Asian? Okay, some sort of dark tan color.  So, I can kind of see the criticism.  I also count Moana, who actually is Polynesian, but she is a woman of color. Ariel is a white Mermaid, this is what the imaginers saw when they first drew her, and that is who supplied her speaking and singing voice.
People are also creatures of habit.  We do not like change.  It is the same criticism that was given to the all-black cast in this year's Live-action (actually CGI-action) The Lion King with BeyoncĂ© and Donald Glover, and Aladdin with Will Smith as the Genie.  I am sorry that most people hated Will Smith for his portrayal of the Genie, but as one of his rules, The Genie cannot bring people back from the dead, and I guess people wanted Disney to bring Robin Williams back from the dead.
I like diversification.  It shows that the world is not as segregated as they want it to be.  You can possibly live in a world where you only deal with people of your own kind, but let’s face it, it is getting more impossible to do it.  Eventually, you need to come out of your house, get a job, go to the store, go to church, whatever, and mingle.  You can not ban people from doing what they want (see my rant about the woman who wanted to ban childless millennials from Disney Parks and most of the civil rights movement of the 1960s).
Look at it this way:  If you do not want to see this movie, any movie, you do not have to go.  Disney may suffer from it a little bit, and they may have a little drop in attendance because you did not buy a ticket, but you do not have to go, period. Your non-attendance will not shut down this company, who has dealt with far worse things (such as the loss of their fearless leader, Walt Disney in 1966).  After all, it is entertainment and the character is not based on a real person.  At least I do not think there are Mermaids in the ocean.  No one has discovered them yet.  This movie is not required for college credit, a credit for a religious course, and when you die, God is not going to judge you for not going to this movie.  He will judge you if you make some kind of racial slur towards the actress who will be playing her on social media or any other media.
I am going to see this movie and I am going to take my niece.  Why?  Because it will satisfy the little girl in me.  I always wanted more characters that look like me in the movies and on television when I was a child.  I am about to date myself, but in school, I took a school day picture where my mom gave me Cindy Brady’s famous curls, two ponytails with ringlet curls.  I also wanted to be Tracy Partridge, and I clapped very loudly when I saw Penny from Good Times and Tootie (Character’s first name is actually Dorothy) from Facts of Life, both who are black.
Look, Disney wants their customers happy.  They know where the money is coming from, and they know that white people are not the only ones who visit their parks and buy their merchandise.  Most companies know this.  We as the black business community have a hard time getting black people to buy from us. This is our biggest problem.  I will go into that at another time, I am getting off the subject.
People should be happy that Disney wants to diversify in their movies.  I know a lot of people do not like interracial couples, but I also believe this is Disney’s other reason to not make Prince Eric Black as well.  I remember reading several times in my life how people in the late 60s were upset because Captain Kirk kissed Lt. Uhura on the lips, and that the episode was banned until several years later when it was more acceptable.  The Jeffersons television show had an interracial couple named Tom and Helen Willis, who were Lionel Jefferson’s girlfriend (later wife’s) parents.  This happened in the 1970s.  There have been many times where interracial couples were a thing back then, but they still frown on today for some reason.
However, you take this post is up to you.  I want you to look at it with new eyes if you are on the fence about this whole Little Mermaid live movie casting situation, and it is not really a situation if you do not let it be.  It is a movie made in a different way by the same company that made the original and has a black mouse.  Think about it.  Mickey is a black mouse and people are okay with him.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019



If you are getting started with your business it is easy to say that you want to do it all by yourself.  I say do not resist outside help and I will explain that in a moment.  For right now, I want to talk to you about a little service called Fiverr.
Photo by Sarah Pflug © 2019
First off, this is not a sponsored post because I have a love/hate relationship with the service.  Yes, I have posted some ads on it, I have not gained any revenue from it, but I keep it in the back of my mind. Confusing, right? Again, it will be all explained along the way.
What is Fiverr?
Fiverr is a task service.  It is a place for artists like me to list jobs they will do for $5, hence the name, Fiverr.  In addition to listing $5 gigs that we will do, we can also list bigger jobs for a lot higher.  For example, I am listed on the site as a freelance writer and a freelance graphic designer.  My products are not small in price.  I usually start at $10, not $5, with my highest package deal being $100.  So far I have not received anyone wanting my services since 2016.  At that time, I listed that I will do resumes, and I did one resume for a person, who paid $4.  Resume writing itself is worth more than $4, but that is why Fiverr is so cheap.
I have seen listings where a person will, “sing happy birthday in the resistor's favorite character for $5.  Voice impersonators make more than $5. 
Even though I am still on Fiverr, I have problems with it, and here are my top reasons for anyone to not make it your main source of income.
  1. Cheap. 
They are cheap as I said.  They are cheap and the sequesters are cheap.  Cheap can be good or bad.  Good in if you are starting out in business, sometimes, you do not have a lot of money to spend.  If you are in the United States, depending on your state, you will be shelling out some money for registering your business, getting a business license, opening a business checking and Savings accounts, and hiring people to run your business.  You do not have a lot of money to create stunning advertisements, and purchasing software from companies such as Adobe and Microsoft, which can get a bit pricey.  You also do not have the time.  When you look at a listing on a site like Fiverr, paying $5 is like buying a candy bar.  It is a drop in your budget, which you can afford.  You go for the basic package, a little more if you can spare the change.
Likewise, If you are that person who puts up a listing, $5 is all you will get paid most of the time.  Yes, $5 does add up, but tell that to your utility companies.  If you do not go pro with your listings (a whole different animal than regular Fiverr), you may be eating Ramen noodles for the next month.
I am lucky that Fiverr is not the only place where I list my work. Plus, how do you think they make money on the website?  Yes, from what you earn.
  1. Everyone is on Fiverr
When I mean everyone, I am talking Foreigners as well. You are not just seeing someone from the United States, Canada, or Mexico, I am talking someone from India, Saudi Arabia, England, France and Nigeria to name a few.  Fiverr does not discriminate, which is a good thing if you are from that country, but I wish that they would separate the countries. I do not like competing for your hard-earned dollars if you are the other countries I mentioned, I have to do that with my own country, which is in the US. 
Not only that, sometimes they tell you that they are from the United States, and they are really from Russia.
With that in mind, you do have to watch who your clients are.  This did not happen to me on Fiverr, but another popular website for gigs called Freelancer, which I will talk about in more detail at another time.  One of freelancer for potential customers is for them not to contact freelancers outside the site. The person who asked me to open several accounts for him did.  I ended the relationship because he wanted me to send the money to Nigeria.  I did, so I would get the stolen money out of my account.  This can also happen on Fiverr.
My recommendations for this stream of income:
Go with caution.  You never know.  This could work if you are not looking for a huge amount of payback from it (income).  It is also helpful if you are not familiar with having clients.  In other words, if you are new to freelancing.
However, as I said before, buyer beware, seller beware.  There are a lot of people out there who may not be what your ideal client should be. 
Most business people who come to Fiverr are getting started for the first time.  They do not have a ton of money, and if you can get them a simple graphic design, such as basic business card, print off no more than 50 cards is worth the $5.  If they want more, this is where you would give them your website if you have one.  Once there, the client can see more of your products, and they may not have to purchase on Fiverr.  If they still want the $5 product, at least they know what is out there on your site.  Now you have a repeat customer.
Once you are established in your niche, cut ties with Fiverr, but not before setting up your website, and not before you have gained some traffic and customers.
This is the same thing that I would recommend for Etsy, but I will get to that website as well.
Tips and Tricks (the new name for Takeaway):
In the meantime, proceed to Fiverr with caution. I cannot say it fast enough that if you want to go for it, OK, but it would be a little simpler if you open a website in either Blogger or WordPress, set your prices, and promoting your service or craft.  You will at least have all your money (until the IRS comes a-knocking), and you can screen your clients (there is a right way and a wrong way).  I would even go with Wix.
Be safe, work your business every day, even if you are checking emails, and God Bless You.