Friday, December 22, 2006

Two Skyrtle Doves

What's a skyrtle dove? Hellifiknow.

Just over 45 hours to go.

A sister and brother came into the store today. She was beautiful, he was extreeeemely handsome, and they both had great senses of humor. Of course, I fell in lust with the guy immediately and found a new best friend in the girl. I'm lying, of course, but they were neat-o-rific people, and I really enjoyed talking with them for the brief minute or two that we all shared. It was most excellent. It's been a long long time since I've met what Anne of Green Gables calls 'kindred spirits' in person. I've met several online (you know who you are). I need to get out more.

But alas...

After 10 hours of walking around on hard tile floor, orchestrating all the people and activity in the store, I'm just too darn tarred to go do any social thing lately.

Not much else going on right now.

I may not post tomorrow (Saturday) night. I get off work at 12:30am and go back at 10am Sunday.

My dogs are barking, but my calf muscles rock right now.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Three French Zens

I need some zen right about now.

Three more days of work 'til Christmas. I didn't post yesterday because I worked a closing shift (til 12:30am) then went right back to work at 7am this morning. Four hours of sleep doesn't kill me, but it does make me hurt.

The CEO visited today. It went fine. I was able to give him the demographics, sales percentages, comp numbers, and strategy informatioin he was asking for. I always study my numbers before a visit like that.

As he was leaving, along with my boss and her boss, a window sign fell down right next to the front doors. I laughed my ass off.

I received some yummy nummy cookies today at work...thanks CatBoy! I also received the photography books I had created on my computer. They look pretty amazing. If I had any energy I'd post a picture of them.

Also, Squeaky the Bookshelf Elf delivered his presents to my store staff this afternoon. Squeaky had to work especially hard on his lunch break to get all the goodies in the stockings, but it all worked out in the end.

My feet hurt. I need to do a load of laundry. But what I really want to do is put on some chili and watch Stargate.

Oh, I found the creamy coconut flavor of Dreyer's Fruit Bars, so I bought those the other day.

Life is pretty darn good, ya know?

In 73 hours and 3 minutes I get to lock up my store and start my Christmas.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Five Bolden Wings

Um, Yeah....whatever that means...

Five more days and five more days of work until Christmas.

My sister and nephew visited me again today at work. One of my employees asked my nephew if he still had his Rhino Nose Virus. The answer was yes.

I helped a man today who, I can only suppose, had an extreeeeeeemely severe case of jaundice. I don't know that I've ever seen anyone with jaundice, really, but I think this guy had it bad. The 'whites' of his eyes were, indeed, yellow. But not just yellow...bright yellow, especially around the irises and also near the fleshy inside of the eyelid. It was freaky. I tried not to notice, but I'm sure he knew that I was noticing. Now I'll have to go look up pictures of jaundice on the internet to see if that's really what it was. It seemed too vivid a color to be real. I helped him find a Mayo Clinic Guide to Alternative Medicine, so he certainly had some medical ailment. Poor guy.

I bought Stargate Atlantis Season 1 today with my 40% off coupon.

I made chili tonight...mmmmm. That should last me through until Christmas. I can get a good 5 days of eating off of one big pot o' chili.

My photography book that I created with my computer has now been shipped (hooray!). The tracking program said it was picked up by FedEx at 6:30something tonight. I should receive it on Thursday. Double Yay!

Wentworth Miller was in my store again today. Dominic Purcell was in last week. I don't know what the shooting schedule for a tv show is, but you'd think they'd get a couple weeks off at Christmas to go be with their families.

Catboy, did you really mail me some of your baked goods? I haven't received a Christmas card yet. Geezus, man, get with it!

It's been muggy and verrrry humid here for the past several days. And then at about 11am today, a deep fog rolled in. We don't get deep fogs around here much, and never in the daytime. Supercreepy. But it caused all the people to freak out, put on their winter coats, and come buy stuff at my store, so I'm not complaining.

Things are still going well. I'm trying to load up my staff with food and candy in the breakroom, and I'll be assembling their individual stockings tomorrow with even more food, so I hope that'll be enough to get them through the next 5 days.

My red clawed crab is so cute, even if he keeps hiding from me. He's a chicken crab. heh.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Six More Days

I typed 'Sex More' at first while I was typing the title. Obviously, I corrected myself.

I just finished a dinner of Cheerios and a Dreyer's Fruit Bar--strawberry. Those fruit bars are most excellent. I've had the lime and the strawberry, and I notice from their website that they have myriad flavors. Unfortunately, the grocery stores nearby only carry those two flavors. I must expand my search to a larger concentric circle.

Btw, Catboy, the correct use of myriad is attributed to you. You done did learn me somethin'.

Yes, there are six more days until Christmas. But more importantly, there are six more days until I can have a day off. I had a day off yesterday, but it didn't feel like a day off. I'm working a 7-day stretch right now, which isn't too bad, really. I'm thankful I have a good job.

Some hot items this Christmas:

Annie Leibovitz's Photo Book
Echo Maker (publisher is out)
Yale Book of Quotations (publisher is out)
Bird Songs
U2 by U2
Schott's Almanac 2007
I Like You by Amy Sedaris
The Secret
and of course all the ones you'd expect by Grisham, Hiaasen, Crichton, et al ad nauseum

Holiday Music by James Taylor, Il Divo, Bette Midler, TransSiberian Orchestra, Sara McLaughlin

Saturday Night Live, Season 1 (distributors are out)
Band of Brothers
House (both seasons)
Dozens of other TV show seasons

Dubya Doublespeak
Far Side box
any Dog calendar

Robert Sabuda pop up books
Puzzles and kits

So, if you're trying to be original in your gift giving, avoid all the things mentioned above, as everyone in the country thinks they are the perfect gift and have already bought them. That doesn't mean these things aren't most excellent, as most of them are, but the likelihood of a duplicate gift increases if you select from that list.

Be bold, buy something no one else is buying. Be brave, read something no one else is reading.

One book that I've had to reorder several times is a new photography book by David LaChappelle (not the guy with the TV show). It's called Heaven to Hell, and it's visually amazing. His style of photography is not for those easily offended by some nudity or those who don't like to challenge the social norm. His work IS a visual feast of color and composition. It's a perfect, non mainstream book that is doing really well here.

I am eagerly awaiting the book I created on my computer. The status still says it is 'printing', so I kind of doubt I'll get it before Christmas. I just wasn't willing to pony up those extra $$$ to pay for express shipping.

I just received word today that the CEO is going to be in town visiting stores on Thursday. I hate it when they do this at Christmas time. I really like to meet all these people each time, but I'm not going to pull myself away from helping customers to meet and greet.

Also, we're the only bookstore in town that is selling the Sony Reader. Let me just say how wicked cool this little machine is. People don't seem to care that it's $350.

That's all I got for now.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Rhino Nose Virus

Warning to Emma: This post contains more talk of boogers.

In the normal ways of little boys, my nephew today was battling one nostril full of snot, and one bleeding nostril. He has a cold he can't seem to shake. I taunt him and call him 'little booger boy'. He told me to stop saying that, and that he has boogers because he has a Rhino Nose Virus. I told him it's a good thing he doesn't have a Hippo Ear Virus, as those are quite nasty.

I finished wrapping the family gifts at 2:21 am this morning, and thusly took them all to my parents' house today. Gracie woke me up around 8am, so I'm quite tired. My nephew can read now (he's in kindergarten), so I made up a code to put on the packages that were for him that I didn't want him to shake. He went through all the rest and made sure he knew for whom they were intended. I had to explain that when the package read "To: Mom; From: Jenny", that it didn't mean the package was for his mom, it was meant for Grand (what he calls my mother). There were also things for him from some of Santa's reindeer. He really enjoyed digging through all of them and seeing which ones were his.

There was almost a big scene before lunch when my older sister told my mom that they would not be able to attend Christmas until the evening of Christmas Day, as my nephew's other set of grandparents and other aunt could only attend a Christmas meal during the day. They don't get to see my nephew very often, and my mother gets to see him every week, so it seemed like a perfectly reasonable thing to tell mom that they would be quite late for our Christmas Day lunch.

In the end, we're just going to push back our meal to dinnertime instead of lunch, which is ok with everyone else. I feel badly that my sister had to have such an uncomfortable conversation with my mother, and of course my mother overreacted and placed blame and played the martyr. However, I've had an absolute ton of experience with awkward/uncomfortable situations like these, and I did notice some opportunity for my sister in the way the conversation was phrased, where it was held, etc.

Anyway, I'm sure my sister was very stressed leading up to and going into that conversation and is most likely feeling much better now that it is done.

I'm looking forward to a fast-paced 7 days leading up to Christmas. This is the fun time of year.

Da Holidayze

This is my list of 'stuff' yet to be done before Christmas Day:

1. Buy a bottle of wine for my boss
2. Buy a gift for a friend (even though we said we wouldn't exchange gifts, I know she'll get me something so I'll have to get her something.)
3. Wrap remaining gifts for family
4. Take these gifts to parents' house tomorrow
5. Work every day Dec. 18-23
6. Put staff names on stockings
7. Take stockings to store and fill with stuff I bought a couple weeks ago that's been sitting in my car
8. Convince Gracie not to eat any more red ribbon (she pooped out a short one yesterday...bad kitty)
9. Load a few hundred more CDs onto my new external hard drive.
10 . Try to spot my red clawed crab a few more times
11. Play with my kitty
12. Do normal household/chore/life stuff

I'd better get cracking. I must finish wrapping stuff tonight, and it's already 1am.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I Created My Own Book

You may or may not remember that I purchased a new computer, a Mac desktop, in June. You also may or may not remember that at the end of June/beginning of July I took a trip to Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks with a good friend of mine.

I've been trying to think of a nice yet inexpensive gift for my friend for Christmas, so I decided to see if I could compile all the best photos into a book to give to her. With iPhoto I was able to choose a style, layout, easily drag and position the photos, write an introduction, and place descriptions of each photo.

I selected a hardcover (black linen) book that measures 8 1/2 x 11 inches. I ordered 2 copies, one for me and one for her. They were only $29.95 each. I did this all last night in about 2 hours, and the result is glorious. I can't wait to get the final product, to hold it and see how it lives in my hands.

I'm so excited that I was able to create this through the wonders of digital cameras, computers, and a DSL modem. My friend is absolutely going to love this. I hope the books arrive before Christmas.

In the future I'll have to check out the calendars, cards, and other formats of books I can make with iPhoto.

Above is the photo I used for the cover of the book. It is my most favorite of any photo I've ever taken.

Monday, December 11, 2006

I Am the Peacemaker

Today I had to physically place myself between two grown men (customers) at work who were bickering/arguing with each other. This is what I was told happened after everything was said and done:

Guy A was reading a magazine while Guy B kept bothering him. Apparently Guy B wanted to look at the magazine as well, to see if he wanted to buy it. Guy A told Guy B that he would give the magazine to Guy B as soon as he was finished looking through it. Guy B had problems with this and kept badgering and pseudo-threatening Guy A.

Anyway...all I knew stepping into this situation was that one of my cashiers asked me for help (we have walkies with headsets which are very handy for things like this). I came to the register queue where these two guys were exchanging words, and Guy B was trying to buy a different magazine. Guy A told me that Guy B was bothering him, and then they started to argue again.

Here's what I told them: "Guy B, you're going to stay over there to my left and buy your magazine; Guy A, you're going to stand to my right and buy yours. I'm going to stand in the middle, and you two are not going to talk to each other."

Guy B asked me if I wanted to hear his side of the story. I told him no. They were both to buy their magazines and leave.

I mean I their momma? Am I their kindergarten teacher? Are they both not adult enough to handle a small problem of sharing or not sharing?

Hey, if either Guy A or B had a problem because one of my staff was rude or threatening or whatever to them, fine. That is something that is my responsibility. But I shouldn't have to stand between to adult men and tell them both to be quiet just because they can't handle that situation themselves.

The next customer in line was a nice lady who said she caught the end of the whole thing and thought I handled it very well. Superthanks, nice lady.

I am the Peacemaker.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Drive-Bys, Click-Bys, and Stand-Bys

Busy busy busy has my life been lately. It's all due to work right now. 'Tis the season to make or break a retail establishment, and I aim to 'make' it. Today is my one day off this week, as has been the case for the past couple of weeks. This closing at midnight nonsense, though I've been doing it for years at the holidays, is still for the birds.
Yesterday I learned that the father and brother of one of my employees were shot in a drive-by while attending a Christmas party at a friend's house. Five others were injured, and no one was killed. A person goes to a celebration, is enjoying the time with their family and friends, and is shot. What the fuck is happening to this country? For further insight on this, I recommend watching the film Grand Canyon.
I'm almost finished with my holiday shopping. I was having a heckuva time finding enough inexpensive plain red and white felt stockings for work. I finally found some at an online wholesaler. In years past I've just bought them at Target, but the ones they had this year were really skimpy and thin in the white part at the top. Plus, they didn't have the several dozen that I need for my staff. You see, every year I make stockings for each member of my staff. I write their name in gold fabric paint on the white part, and stuff them full of gum, snacks, candy, bubbles, and whatever else I can get in bulk for cheap. Crap, I haven't gotten my boss anything yet. I think I'll just get her a nice bottle of wine and not worry with trying to be creative. Double crap...I have 2 friends I have to get things for. Everyone else is done...I think.
When I bought this computer in June, I got some sort of card that CompUSA had. They discontinued their card, and sent me a certificate for $107 in credit. Today I bought a 250GB external hard drive and a piano/keyboard bench for a total of $14.53 after I get my rebate on the hard drive. Not bad. Now I can put my hundreds of CDs and photos and downloaded TV shows onto the external drive and not worry about filling up my computer.
I need to get back to doing laundry....toodles.

Monday, December 04, 2006


I've recently been watching season 1 of House on DVD. I now have a ginormous crush on Hugh Laurie, or maybe it's a crush on the character of House, or maybe it's a crush on Hugh Laurie as House.


It snowed here last Thursday. Actually, it alternated between sleeting and snowing, then it finally decided on snow. Because of the sleet, some of the roads were icy, and we didn't really get much accumulation of snow. It's very refreshing to have colder weather. I haven't yet turned on my heat. I have plenty of clothes, blankets, and a cat to keep me warm.


Yesterday my nephew asked me how Gracie's cold was. I thought this was very thoughtful of a 5 1/2 year old kid to ask. I told him Gracie was almost all better, and I asked him how his own cold was. He told me he wasn't quite over it yet and he still had some boogers in his nose. I then asked him if he had blown his nose really hard using lots of tissue. He responded that he had blown his nose hard when he was 4, and a lot of stuff came out. I suppose he thought he was done for life.


I need some advice on something. I am a snacker while I watch DVDs. I need to find something to occupy my hands and/or mouth so that I can still enjoy my entertainment without all those pesky calories. Any suggestions? Lewd suggestions will also be considered.


Starting Thursday, we stay open until midnight. I hate that.


My car now has 15,000 miles on it. I have owned it 10 months and 15 days, but it was in the shop for 30 of those days. Next year I plan on taking it to Michigan again (for a work conference in April), and to Denver (for a work meeting in late March), plus some sort of road trip vacation during the summer.


I want to visit the Field of Dreams in Dyersville, IA. I want to go alone. How freakish is that?


I enjoy movies a lot more now than when I was a film major in college. I miss playing the French horn, though now I have been not playing for as many years as I did play before I stopped.


Something's missing and I need to find it. I'm not sure if I lost something or if I never had it. Hmm...