Monday, August 27, 2007

Some Writer

I fancied myself a writer in my younger years. Even then I knew that one day I would want to look back at the class assignments and personal creative writing projects I had doubt to praise myself for how genius I was at the tender age of 13. Below are pictures from an 8th grade English class assignment dated December 3, 1986 called "A Collection of Poems". We each had to write and illustrate a particular number of poems in particular styles. I remember my English teacher that year...Ms. Sewell...and how she encouraged me and humored me. Well, Ms. Sewell, I did not become a writer, I haven't the patience for it, but I did become successful in my own way.

Below each picture are descriptions.

I apparently was very into Nature when I was writing the Haikus.

Meh, boring.


Late last night I was cocky.
Late last night I was vain.
Late last night...


I LOVE to parody poems and stories and plays and...

What is it with teenagers and death/destruction/terror?

They're not completely horrid, but they are good for a laugh and fond memories of sitting at the typewriter, painstakingly hitting each key to get a clean, error-free page.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

SPF 70

It's less than 2 months until I head off to Florida and my rental house on Indian Rocks Beach. I wanted to pick up a few things now so that I'm not having to hustle at the last minute to acquire necessary items.

Last week I went to one of those 'dollar stores' and found several cheapo floatie rafts on sale. You remember the neon orange and pink and green ones from 20 years ago? They're still around and are perfect for straddling and bobbing up and down in the ocean.

Today I went to Walgreen's and found some plastic beach toys. I'm going to try my hand at building a sandBorders. We'll see how it goes. I also picked up some sun block...Neutrogena SPF 70. I mean, really....70? Is that possible? When I was younger I used to get so tan in the summer I looked like I were a member of a different race. These days I'm rather fair and don't want to get a nasty burn by being outside for 14 hours a day for 5 days.

...that is all

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

4:30am -- 3 Minutes 10 Seconds


We had our physical inventory this past Sunday night. It happens once a year and involves an outside inventory service scanning every piece of merchandise in the entire store. The process is annoying and leaves the store extremely messy (imagine some strangers coming into your home and touching and moving every single thing), but is usually completed by about 2am. This time the crew was very sllllooow in their pace, so we didn't get out of there until 4:30am. Holy crackers. I got my 2 hours of sleep and then went back to work to open Monday morning. Then I put myself to bed at 8:30pm last night.

3 Minutes 10 Seconds

That was my commute this morning.

Nothing else really exciting.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

My Nephew Evan

Evan and his parents took a road trip to and through New Mexico. I'll see them tomorrow (Sunday) for the first time since their return. Here is a picture of Evan wearing a Coyote hat somewhere near Santa Fe. Isn't he the cutest 6-year old kid?

Florida Rental House

This is the rental house I booked for my trip to the Florida Gulf Coast in October:

There are now just 4 of us going, but we're all of us girls, so we can still have lots of fun without worrying about what girls worry about when boys are present in the same house. The people I'm vacationing with are all GMs for my company at different stores, and they are the best group of people. I really enjoy their company. We are just completely excited to be going.

And then, when that part of the trip is over, we hop over the bay and get to stay in a bayfront hotel in Tampa for another couple of nights during the conference/meeting.

When I was younger, we didn't have much money for traveling, so I only dreamed about getting to go places and see things that some of the other kids did. We certainly weren't deprived, and we did take some close-to-home vacations, but my parents didn't see the wisdom in getting into credit card debt just to finance a trip to Disney World, NYC, or DC. I have very smart parents.

I love to go on road trips around the country. I have been to Florida two times before, but I've never rented a house ON THE BEACH, with it's own hot tub, pool, deck, grill, and did I say it's ON THE BEACH! Yes, indeed, it's ON THE BEACH! I want to see dolphins, collect shells, go bobbing up and down on a cheap raft in the Gulf, make sandcastles on the sugar white sand, grill steaks, drink margaritas, talk with my friends, watch the sunsets, take pretty pictures, and just thoroughly enjoy myself.

Life is indeed good.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

3 Minutes, 50 Seconds

With a stop at the dumpster to put my trash inside.

Martha, if I moved across town, it would take me 60-90 minutes to get to work, which is why I have such a difficult time deciding whether or not to buy a house. One of the reasons, anyway.

Monday, August 13, 2007

4 minutes, 28 seconds

This pertains to something that occurred today. Can you guess what it is?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Four-Hour Work Week

from a book called The Four-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss:

"Facing certain burnout, I decided to see how Pareto's 19th-century concept applied to my company by pinpointing the sources of most of my sales - and my problems - so I could spend my time more efficiently. I quickly realized that of more than 120 wholesale customers, a mere five were bringing in 95 percent of the revenue.

In the next 24 hours, I made several simple but emotionally difficult decisions that changed my life forever. First, I decided to stop pursuing most of my customers so I could profile and duplicate the most profitable ones. I was spending most of my time working on small accounts, when the big five already ordered regularly, without any follow-up.

I put the customers in the unproductive majority on passive mode. All my complaints came from them. If they ordered, great -- let them fax in the order. If not, I would do absolutely no chasing: no phone calls, no e-mail, nothing.

Jenny's words:

When Mr. Ferriss writes that all his complaints came from the lesser 5% of his customers, I must completely agree with him. In my business I spend more time handling complaints from non-customers (people who don't buy anything but want to complain about it anyway), performance managing the 5% of non-performers, and removing the less than 5% smelly dirty people from my store. That takes time away from my being able to focus on my high performers...those who can be GMs one day in the near future. And it takes time away from my loyal customers.

Now on more personal terms...

Think of all the friends and relatives you have....that huge vast number. Now think of the one or two (or three or four) people who emotionally drain you, take up your time and energy, and leave you depleted when you go to spend time with your uplifting and enjoyable friends. Do you have people in your life like that? If you do, what are you doing about it? I have no friends like that, because I shed them long ago. I have a few relatives that try to pull that with me, but I tell them I'm having none of it, and they need to change their behavior because they are not going to act that way to me.

All my years of managing people has made those very direct conversations much easier. When casual talking about the 'issue' won't work, a directive now does. But I do recognize I have it 'easy'. I don't have a husband or in-laws or a kid to take into consideration. So at home the 5% of people who drain me is actually closer to 1% or 0%. I get to base all my decisions on what I want, and not worry about taking into account the wishes of others.

Anyway, I really like what Timothy Ferriss said in this article (it was somewhere online at AOL, I think), so I believe I'll be checking out the book very soon. He also had some ideas on efficiency and personal productivity that I liked.

And that is your first installment of "Arm Chair Psych Girl". Have a pleasant evening.

Friday, August 10, 2007

This Week

I guess I was sick earlier this week, though I didn't realize it until I was mostly better. Funny how that works. I remember feeling sore and beat up on Sunday, having a bit of a queasy stomach, but with no real problems on Monday, and being incredibly hot Monday-Wednesday. I chalked this up to the warmer weather we're having (the daily rainstorms having subdued for the time being). Then I noticed on Thursday that I felt pretty good, which is what prompted me to remember that I hadn't been feeling well.

Funny how that works. Clueless person am I. However, I am a person who doesn't believe herself sick unless actively puking, which is probably why I didn't really notice.

I was off yesterday and today. Yesterday I lounged around and read "Twilight" by Stephanie Meyer. It is the first of 3 books (so far) in a Young Adult series that has become quickly popular. It was a good read, though mostly geared to the girls. I also looked online at more vacation rental properties in Florida, and received some emails back from a couple stating they can definitely do nightly rates. Yessss. This trip is 2 1/2 months away, and I'm already at excitement level 8 out of 10. I think I need to tone it down.

Today I worked up the non-laziness-factor-ish-ness to do laundry (which I actually don't mind doing), clean the kitchen, sweep and mop floors, and clean the bathrooms. Yes, Emma, I have TWO bathrooms. I actually don't need the second one now that Graice is was her that I wouldn't have litter and peepee all over mine. I'm also gathering garbage and will make a big trash run later when I leave to meet a couple of friends for dinner.

I also started reading Scott Lynch's "The Lies of Locke Lamora", because Joe Mallozzi recommended it. I'm not very far into it, but it is not holding my interest, so if it doesn't hurry and pick up the pace, I'm going to stop reading it. Joe says he gives books about 100 pages to catch him. I am less forgiving. If I'm not entralled by page 40 or 50, I'm out...and that's about where I am now. We'll see.

Tomorrow (Saturday) I had scheduled myself to close, like I normally do. One of the gentlemen who works for me was given a concert ticket for tonight (his friend's band is opening for Berlin at House of Blues), so I swapped shifts with him so he could attend the concert and not worry about being at work at 7am the following morning. I almost always close on Saturday, so I won't know what to do with myself when I get off work at 4pm. Maybe more house hunting?

That's enough for now. I need to call my friends to see what time we're meeting. Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

OMG, Schell, I Have HIS Phone Number know who I mean.

Note: This post also relates to the 'name-dropping' post.


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

I Need Your Googling Abilities

Howdy, all of my blog readers!

I have a work conference coming up in late October in Tampa, Florida. I am going to turn the trip into a vacation following the meeting. I need your help in tracking down a suitable abode while there. Here are the parameters:

Needs to sleep 6-8 people
Needs to be a house, not a condo or apartment or a hotel
Needs to be within an hour's drive of Tampa
Needs to be on the GULF side, not on the bay side or river or 'waterfront'
Needs to be on the beach, or within a few hundred feet of it
Needs to accept a nightly rate, as we won't be there for a full week and will be overlapping the normal Sat-Sat week (will most likely be a Thurs-Monday stay)
The entire stay needs to be under $2,000.

I've done some searching and think the Clearwater to Gulfport peninsula looks good.

I'd appreciate any links you can send.


Sunday, August 05, 2007

Name Dropping, Part II

Wentworth Miller was in my store again this evening. I suppose all the people associated with Prison Break have been back from hiatus for a few weeks now. He came in while I was getting ready to take my dinner break. I procured a savory herb and cream cheese pretzel and a bottled orange soda from my cafe for dinner and took it up to my office, where WM was walking about the second floor. So, I thought you'd want to know that I had dinner with Wentworth Miller. If you don't think this is funny, then read the post a couple of posts down.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Yes, I Was Brilliant

Did you expect anything less? My staff and my store were also brilliant.

The visit schedule changed multiple times due to bad weather and flight delays, but hey, we're adaptable. We get big head cheese visits at least once a year, and the regional/zone office is less than a mile from my store, so I have people popping in all the time. Still, it's nice to make a good impression with big head cheeses that are new to the company and don't yet know the brand that is Jenny.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Big Executive Visit in about 11 hours

...wish me luck

I've been looking over my numbers and have most everything memorized, but I've created a one-sheet just in case. Wanna know my Travel % to sales, big guy? No problem. Wanna know my G&S comp? Got it right here.

And I want to make my boss and her boss look good, too, so the store is ready.

Go team.