You shouldn't be surprised that two sisters, especially sisters as different as we are, would banter about everything – sometimes agreeing, sometimes not. But, almost always looking at things from very different perspectives (just scroll through our most recent posts on the home page). Of course, our Banter Bites really highlight our differences and the fact …
Everything with us is a story. Several years ago, we worked with a branding company, and one of the team imagined us as cartoon characters. (Thank you, Puneet!) People told us they loved our sisterly banter, so we started doing a single-frame cartoon to introduce our monthly columns. Then we used them on slides at speaking engagements (Black's corporate background taught her how BORING PowerPoint presentations could be, so she refused to have slides filled with words), and people suggested we syndicate them. (Black, of course, then researched syndication.) And, we even used them at a pitch meeting with Hasbro. When we started working with an animation company and saw their version of our "creatures", we decided they needed to be front and center.
So, just about the time we began developing this website, Black suggested to Red we start a daily "Banter Bite" that we could publish on our Twitter and Facebook pages. It could be about something happening in our lives, current events, some obscure fact/study she happened across, the list goes on and on. And Red's reply? (Keep in mind, she's the self-proclaimed queen of blah-blah-blah.) "I'm not sure we'll have enough material to be able to post every day."
The reality? In the beginning, Black humored Red and we didn't do them every day. But Black kept churning them out based on their conversations – and soon there was a large backlog. At that point, we decided to publish them six days a week (we believe Sundays shouldn't be spent on gizmos, although that doesn't stop Black from working) and later added a "backstory" section to them. Now, based on all the other content we're posting, we're back to doing them 2-3 times a week.
People tell us that our Banter Bites cartoons are fun and quick to read. But also relevant to their day-to-day lives – and not just on the day they're published. In other words, although prior Banter Bites may be considered "old" in today's world of social media and "instant news" (even something from earlier in the day can be considered old or outdated), they don't have an expiration date!
Two years ago, on MLK Day, Red learned the power and inspiration of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And the power of dreams. And as long as there's social unrest and social injustice in the United States (stop and think about the first word … as we’re supposed to be united), the more we can learn from him … as not only did he fight for equality for all, but his approach is proof of the power of peaceful protests.
For most of us, writing and delivering one powerful and/or inspiring thing would be a very difficult task. To be remembered for hundreds is truly amazing.
We grew up in New York, where bagels are almost sacred, but even though they may have started as a Jewish food in Europe, they’re now enjoyed by everyone everywhere (including Red and Black, but in very different ways) – why else would there be a National Bagel Day?
National holidays aren’t the time to count calories.
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: We both agree that happiness has a hole in it, although one of us may only eat one bagel a year while the other tries to keep it to only one bagel when she does indulge.
Red admits that although she knows bagels aren’t a healthy choice, she’ll occasionally treat herself, not only because they remind her of growing up in New York when almost every town on Long Island had at least one bagel shop, but because she loves whipped cream cheese almost as much as the fresh, squishy bagel on which she smears it. And while she was a fan of both cinnamon raisin and onion bagels as a kid, the introduction of the “Everything” bagel was a turning point. However, her all-time favorite is technically not a bagel, as it’s a bialy.
On the other hand, it only takes one look at Black’s “selfishly svelte figure” to know that she has the willpower to resist bagels (including her favorite, sesame) as well as all the other carbs that she loves, but when it comes to National Bagel Day and the “health” issues of bagels, she has an interesting perspective,
Bagels are one of life’s true culinary pleasures, often tied to wonderful memories, so you cannot always measure their value in terms of nutrition. But, when it comes to healthy eating, it might be interesting to remember that bagel-cutting injuries are common and result in thousands of people having to go to emergency rooms or urgent care centers … so, celebrate carefully.
Another year and another National Clean Your Desk Day (yes, that’s actually a thing). So, is Red’s desk any better than the “disaster” it was last year? Well, believe it or not, it may not be perfect, but it’s significantly better. Is it because she finally listened to Black’s advice (see below) or somehow found a “secret” of her own? As it turns out, it was a combination of the two as Red discovered, even if the rest of her life isn’t “nice and neat” (that’ll never happen), she loves walking into her workroom in the morning and starting the day in a (somewhat) organized space, which provides the best motivation for keeping it that way. (Luckily, Black never brought up the science of messy desks.)
A day to clean up your desk?! It will take way more than a day …
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: No one is immune from piles of paper, not even Black, the master of organization, but there’s a huge difference between a desk with a few small piles and some scattered papers (although her laptop’s keyboard needs serious cleaning) and Red’s “workroom” that usually looks like a tornado hit it.
Which is why Red rolled her eyes when Black mentioned today’s National Clean Your Desk Day, as it’d take her significantly more than a day to “clean up this mess,” but then she remembered Black’s advice on how to keep her piles (and piles) of paper under control and felt inspired. Red admits often feeling like she’s drowning in paper, but that’s because she lets the piles get out of control before reminding herself of Black’s very easy, straightforward approach to turning her mountains of paper into small manageable hills. And, significantly reducing stress along the way, because as Black points out,
Sometimes, it is more important to know what you are ignoring than it is to deal with everything in the piles.