Why Americans dress so casually and my #WCW

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2015/09/08/why-americans-dress-so-casually/

Introducing¬†Deirdre Clemente, a historian of 20th century American culture at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas! Her research focuses on fashion and clothing and the patterns and trends she’s followed are really interesting. She did an interview with Robert A. Ferdman of the Washington Post and it’s really educational. For example, individuality is obviously a big part of today’s culture, what with the lower barrier of entry for startups and freelancers and the acceptance of some more counter-culture type groups. In terms of clothing choice is more important than ever, and¬†something that is no longer class-restricted.

Read More

Mast Brothers Chocolate Tour

This is painted on the left wall.

I took a tour of the Mast Brothers’ factory on Friday. It was brilliant. I’ve taken “chocolate themed” tours before, and visited the Ghiradelli Square in San Francisco when I was a teenager, and neither of those visits made me feel as excited about chocolate as the ~45 minute walk around the factory watching things being made did. I feel more educated now, and not in the way Starbucks or Teavana wanted its employees to feel and to make the customers feel when I worked for them (apologies to the, honestly, really great people who complimented me on how genuine I was), but more like when we visited the Kitchen at Grove Station and talked to the guy serving Modcup coffee near the door about how cold it was to be right next to the door during a late autumn grand opening. I still need to try honey processed coffee.

Sorry for the potato.

I tried to take some pictures, but my new phone’s camera is kind of a potato (thought apparently an improvement on the old camera), and my hands are not the most stable. I should ask for a new camera for Christmas.

I like the wooden flag. The bags with the color on them are sugar and the bags with no visible markings are cocoa beans. I convinced my boyfriend not to go lay in them, somehow.

We weren’t allowed to take pictures after passing the counter, which is understandable, as the ideas behind any number of their machines is fairly simple and easy to steal with a few good pictures, and they have a policy of a human touch being most important, which means many of their machines aren’t perfect automatons. If they did, I’m sure someone with fantastic business sense and fewer ethics could probably drive them out with a few tweaks to make the machines perfect. Although the idea of keeping the machines imperfect and stressing out the employees is a little odd, they did make a comment about how the latest they’ve worked until was maybe midnight, made it sound outrageous, and confirmed that their job was way, way better than retail in that regard at least. Anyway, the machines obviously don’t hold them back. Read More