Monday, January 31, 2011

Sex Trafficking Here in the US???

This is a video that Natalie Grant and some others did about this problem in the US that not many people know about. There are between 100,000 and 300,000 people in the US trafficked each year. It is the fastest growing illegal crime in the US and may soon pass drug trafficking. The time before, during, and after the Superbowl (right now!) is one of the busiest times for sex trafficking. I feel that only by making people aware of this will make anything change, so that's why I shared. To find out more about it and what you can do to help, visit

A story from the website:

One little girl finally told her captor just to kill her - she couldn’t do it anymore. The pimp refused, telling her he makes too much money off her. If she wouldn’t do what he told her to, he would kidnap her 8-year-old little sister and pour battery acid over her face while she watched. The little girl complied, living in a dog cage when she wasn’t being sold to man after man.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Krispy Kreme, Bruno and Consumer Behavior

Here is the problem that I'm currently battling.

I live way too close to this place. 

I'm actually not currently battling this, but it already has defeated me. 
I just went and got 2 doughnuts. Alone. 
I really wanted 4, so at least I didn't give in to that part of it.
I've been wanting Krispy Kreme all day long. Since about 9 am.
 Finally at 8:00 I left to get some. And I was home by 8:15. 
So convenient! 

I usually keep my Krispy Kreme cravings down to once a month, 
but when I have a craving, it doesn't go away, so I usually give in.

Anyways, I haven't blogged in a while. 
Bruno the varmint is still living under the house. 
Jim called some kind of Wildlife Removal agency and they are coming February 1st or later. 
Supposedly, they try not to kill the animal so that it doesn't stink up our house.
That will be nice, and I think we're all excited to have him gone.

School is in full swing now, and I've already had my first test. I'm enjoying my classes a lot more this semester than I ever have. I've even been doing all of my reading assignments. For one class, we have to read the Wall Street Journal every day and I've really enjoyed that. It makes me feel smart to actually know what's going on. My last class that we had to read the WSJ, I dreaded it every day. 

I have an interesting marketing class called consumer behavior, and since all of us shop regularly, whether it be for groceries or clothes, I might as well share a few facts from my textbook called Consumer Behavior by Hoyer and MacInnis.

1. The average US household spends an average of $127 per day on goods and services.
2. Consumers born between the years of 1952 and 1971 spend the most money per year.
3. Consumers who buy one item impulsively are more likely to buy a second item impulsively.
4. For US retailers, shoplifting causes $41.6 BILLION in merchandise losses yearly.
5. The average shoplifting theft involves $855 worth of merchandise, whereas it's $312 in the UK.
6. There are more shoplifters in stores that are noisy, crowded, have little security, lax return policies, few salespeople, and hidden nooks and crannies.
7. Four MILLION children are alcoholics or problem drinkers.
8. Consumers who watch a lot of tv and find commercials realistic tend to be more materialistic than consumers who watch less tv.
9. Children are aware of over 200 brand names by the time they are in 1st grade. 
10. Add your phone number to the FTC's do-not-call ( list to avoid telemarketers. You can also log on to the Direct Marketing Association's website ( and ask that your name and information not be sold to other companies.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bruno and the Yellow House

There was once a little creature named Bruno, and he was very cold. The temperatures had dropped to the teens, and there was snow covering the ground everywhere.  He needed a warm place to go so he could survive! He looked and looked and looked until he found a hole in the side of a little yellow house. He could feel the warm air coming from the house, and he was very excited for the warmth but slightly nervous of what was inside.

Bruno stepped in slowly, and it felt so good. He went a little further, and then around a wall and through some pipes, up some wood and through another hole. The further he went, the warmer it was. He was so happy! He could stay here forever, even if it was dark. He curled up and went to sleep for two whole days!

When he woke up, he started to panic. Where was he? It was so dark in there! Suddenly he recalled stepping into the dark hole in the side of the yellow house. He began to get calm until he realized that he couldn't find his way out! He heard people above him in the house walking around. He heard a loud noise and it sounded like running water coming right for him! He couldn't see a thing! He ran, bumping into a wall. He turned around, darted the other way, and boom! into another wall! What in the world was going on? The water was coming for him, he just knew it! But what to do? After about 30 minutes of this, he had to take a rest and he fell asleep.


It was morning, and Melissa had just gotten out of the shower. She heard some noises below. It was really loud. That's weird! The pipes sound extra loud today! She stomped on the floor, and the noise didn't stop. Something must have happened over break. Weird, but oh well!

Later, Mary was sitting in her bed doing homework and heard something in her closet. She was scared, but decided to go look. It sounded big! She crept over, peeked around the doorway, but nothing. It still made noises, but it wasn't in her closet.

That night Natalie was at home sitting in the living room. The house was quiet, but then she thought she heard some scurrying. It was really loud. She pulled her feet up onto the sofa in case something was about to run across the floor. As she listened, it sounded like it was staying in the bathroom, so she got up to check. Nothing was in there, but there sure was a noise coming from under the bath tub.

Things continued this way for days. Maybe even a week! Finally one day, Melissa said something to Mary and Natalie, and they all shared their stories and laughed, nervously thinking to themselves, what in the world is it?! It had begun to sound like it was coming up through the floor sometimes.

Poor Bruno would wake up, run around for hours hitting walls harder than ever, as he was desperately trying to find food, light, anything, until eventually he fall asleep. The poor girls in the house would freak out every time they thought they heard something or someone in their little yellow house. Finally, Melissa called the landlord.

"Hey Jim, I wanted to tell you that we have something below our bath tub that is making loud noises."

... No reply....

Melissa--"Like, it's an animal we think, and we don't know what to do about it. It's been getting louder over the last few days."

Long, awkward pause.

Jim-- "Hmm, well is your basement door closed?"

Mel--"Yes, it's closed. The thing is like in our walls or something, it's not on the basement floor."

Long pause.

Jim--"Well what do you think it is?"

Mel--"Probably some kind of animal."

Long pause.

Jim--"How do you think it got in there?"

Mel--"I'm not sure Jim, we just heard it the past few days, and we don't know what to do."

Jim--"How long has it been there?"

Mel--"We've been hearing it for a week."

Really long pause.

Jim--"Well I guess I can come try to figure out where it is and see what I can do."

Mel--"That would be great. Thanks!"

Melissa hung up. "That was awkward."


The rest is to be continued as soon as the end of the story is here!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Interesting Week

Three interesting things about my week:

1.) I haven't moved my car since Sunday. I'm way too afraid of driving it in the snow because I'll get stuck on flat ground and I don't want to get stuck in Knoxville. Chattanooga would be a different story.

2.) I'm 22 years old as of yesterday. I was depressed on Monday because I was sad it was my last day of my 21st year. It was a fun year and I was sad to say goodbye. My 22nd year will be full of big changes, interviews and (hopefully) working.

3.) I slipped on the snow-covered ice this morning. On campus. In front of people. I had to walk the rest of the way with snow on my pants so everyone could tell that I fell. I'm not going to lie, I was very upset that we had class.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Citrus Surge Music Video and Xmas Vacation

Over our Christmas vacation in Florida, my two sisters and three girl cousins and I needed something to do besides lay around. Laura got a video camera for Christmas. And so we made a music video.

We had a lot of fun doing it. 
The name Citrus Surge originated because the oranges are in right now in the groves in our yard. 
(As I type, my hands are sticky from eating an orange that we brought back.)
They are so incredibly good and all of our band names are types of oranges in the groves.
We tried to get our neighbor George to dance but he wouldn't so we put a clip of him in there anyways.
This is George below.

For our vacation, we planned on going to Tavares (where the Florida house is) and staying a few nights, then driving the the Keys. Since some people were using our house and decided to stay longer than we thought, we ended up driving straight from home in 6 inches of snow to Key West. We loved it there but with our awesome luck, temperatures hit record lows while we were there. 42 degrees is cold with all the wind there, especially when you don't bring many cozy clothes. After a few nights, we went back to Tavares and it felt like we were going home except that it was 75 degrees in December and January. It was so boring and so relaxing. I read my book outside all day yesterday and have a nice sunburn to remind me of it. We wished we could stay longer but Mother has to go back to work tomorrow. We left the 75 degree weather this morning and it was 32 degrees when we got home. 

I'm trying to stay positive about cold weather but I hate to think that most likely, I won't be in 75 degree weather for another 3 months. 

As a last note, I want to document the fact that I am the only person in my family that did not get pulled over or get a ticket in the year 2010.  Mom and Mary both got speeding tickets on trips to Florida, Dad got pulled over with no ticket but he also got a camera ticket for speeding, and Laura got pulled over but no ticket.  I better knock on wood.

Anyways, Happy New Year!