Sunday, October 28, 2007

Lance Bass at my store

It's true. Lance Bass, formerly of NSYNC, did a booksigning at my store this evening. All the teenage girls screamed for him. Hell, all the adults screamed for him. It was very cute.

There were people who had driven from Kansas, Oklahoma, and there was a mother and her 5 teenage daughters who drove up from Houston. There was one adult woman who had Lance sign her back in black sharpie, because she was going straight to a tattoo parlor to have them tattoo over the signature. I saw her back as she was leaving the store, and she had the names of the New Kids on the Block boys, Backsteet Boys, and NSYNC boys tattooed on it. Good grief.

I only had 2 serious complaints from people. One was complete balderdash, but the other one really sounded like one of my peeps messed up. It happens. But the other several hundred people had a grand time.

I'll post some pics of the event as soon as people send me some. I wasn't near the signing table, and I left my camera attached to this computer, so I didn't take any pics.

Also, Lance Bass sat in my office chair during the signing. I was pretending to hyperventilage when I found this out. I'm thinking of typing up a "Lance Bass Sat Here" sign and taping it to the back of the chair. That would give my staff a chuckle during those times when I'm working at my computer and they come into my office.

I have to go back and open in the morning, so that's all for now.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Indian Rocks Beach, Part I

Blogger is being cooperative today and let me upload the above photo.

As I did on my trip to Glacier last year, I took along a tiny composition notebook and kept a short journal of my travels. I tend to be more of a fact-writer, and not so glorious at conveying the joy and beauty of things, so you'll have to use your imagination as well as click on the blog title to go to the flickr page with some trip photos.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 8:54pm CDT

We are in Florida! It was a long, hard day of driving in nasty weather...over 700 miles of rain, some of it so severe I could hardly navigate by the center stripes' reflecting my headlights. I got up at 5:15am and made my way to N's house by 6:40 where I picked up N, AD, and M. It took us over an hour (and one stop at Chick-Fil-A) to get out of Dallas.

We headed east on I-20 toward Shreveport. From Shreveport we turned south towards Alexandria and Lafayette then turned east to Baton Rouge and on through Gulfport, MS, Mobile, AL, and finally stopping at about 8pm just shy of Pensacola, FL. We entertained ourselves today by working crossword puzzles in the car, snacking on the good foods N brought, and buying a lottery ticket somewhere in LA. N and AD sat in the back seat and slept or rested quite a bit, and M acted as my navigator.

M unconciously made remark after remark about all the bridges we were crossing, "Look, we're going off into space!," and "Boy, I sure hope this bridge holds up. Wouldn't it be terrible if it collapsed?!" AD is claustrophobic and has difficulty with bridges, so the entire time I was counteracting M's remarks with, "The bridge looks extremely well made," and "I think the water here is only 3 or 4 feet deep." N and I are sharing a hotel room tonight and are still laughing about it right now.

More tomorrow, after we arrive at the beach!
Thursday 5:12pm

I'm at the beach! I already went down to the water with N, M, and AD. The sand felt so amazingly wonderful on the soles of my feet! AD and I found the pool, too. I'm off to take a shower, then we're going to dinner and grocery shopping!

12:40am on Friday the 19th

I'm about ready to go to bed. We all just finished playing a game of SuperScrabble, where N got a 2nd wind and took the lead to win it in the last 3 rounds. I had a strong second showing followed by AD then M.

We went to a place called Guppy's for dinner tonight. I had the Caribbean jerk swordfish. It was so very tasty. They had a 100+ gallon marine aquarium at the restaurant. There were fish, tiny hermit crabs, starfish, and some sort of eel or seasnake, live coral, and other creatures. It was fascinating to look at.

Then we drove to the grocery store to buy all the food and wine we would be drinking...will be drinking. I'm exhausted and now going to sleep. AD and I have made sand castle building plans for the morning, or some time tomorrow. I did get some pictures of the sunset tonight. I hope they turn out well.

Note: Though I didn't write it in the journal, we also suffered very terrible weather in the last stretch of the drive from Pensacola to Indian Rocks beach on that Thursday. Later that evening our party received 2 concerned calls from family members inquiring about our safety, as they knew we had stayed in Pensacola the night before. It turns out a tornado had hit the city, and we were unawares other than the fact that it was another terrible day for driving.
That's all I can type for now.

Friday, October 26, 2007

I'm back!

Too tired to post anything lengthy or interesting right now, so I'll just put up a few pictures instead.

Cancel that. Blogger isn't letting me upload pics.

I'll try it again tomorrow on my ancient VAIO.

Right now I'm going to finish laundry and go to bed.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Onward to the Beach!

I leave early tomorrow morning for Indian Rocks Beach, Florida. The time has Finally come!

I'll be back late on the 27th, and must work on the 28th because Lance Bass, formerly of NSYNC, is doing a booksigning at my store that Sunday evening.

I'm almost all packed and prepared...just a couple of final things to pick up from the store and to top off the gas tank.

I'll do my best to find seashells for everyone, but so many people have asked me that I wonder if I'll be able to gather enough.

I plan on taking lots of pictures and will most likely post them again and again and again upon my return.

Wish me a safe and fun journey!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Music Machine

Click on the blog title to be taken to a website.

My sister and I would listen to the album "Music Machine" for hours when we were little. We didn't realize at the time that it was a Christian kids album; we just liked the music.

I had to do a fair bit of googling to find more info on it.

Did you ever listen to this as a kid?

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Birthdays and Cookouts

My little sister's birthday was the 5th. She turned 30. Such an important day! I, being the bad person I am, forgot it was the 5th until I was spending an evening with friends. I realized around 10:30pm that I hadn't called her, and when I went to do so, I realized that I don't have her current phone number. I also don't know her email address; and I have no idea where she lives. By then it was too late to call my parents or other sister to get J's phone number, so I'll just have to apologize today when I see her and get her current number.

My Dad's 65th birthday is in 2 days. We've always celebrated the two birthdays together, but I had forgotten about Dad's birthday as well. Forunately I remembered them both in time last night to get two lovely birthday cards from work. Over the years I've gotten Dad some boring presents and some great presents, the boring usually being nice clothes of some kind; the great being the time I got him the Red Ryder bb-gun with genuine leather strap and a whole box of bb pellets---just like the gun little Ralphie desperately wants in the film "A Christmas Story". Dad had wanted one of those bb-guns for ever and ever, and about 10 years ago I got one for him.

This year since I was negligent in my birthday shopping duties, I decided to donate some animals in his name through The link is on the right side of this blog. I got Chicks, a share of a water buffalo, a share of a rabbit trio, a share of a llama, and a share of a sheep. Then I wrote a nice note in the card saying as much. We are not a family of sentiment of any kind, but I think he'll really see the humor in the thought that a share of an animal was contrubuted in his honor.

We are going to grill kabobs with all kinds of meat and veggies on them at noon. I'm bringing a salad, the recipe for which is below. We'll have cake and perhaps ice cream. I'm looking forward to it and need to get ready to leave here shortly.

But first, the recipe. This comes to me by way of my friend Nancy, by way of her Aunt Truda, by way of her friend Margaret Jansen.

Oriental Salad

1 Napa cabbage (about 1 pound)
3/4 bunch of green onions
(Slice both fine and place in large plastic bag)

Combine 1 package Ramen Noodles (break into small pieces, discard seasoning packet), 1/2 cup sliced almonds, 1 Tbsp sesame seeds. In a small frying pan, melt 3 Tbsp butter, add mixture, stir and toast until lightly browned. Cool and store in ziplock small bag.

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3/4 cup canola oil
1 Tbsp soy sauce (low salt)
Combine in sauce pan and boil 1 minute. Cool and store in refridgerator--makes enough dressing for 2 salads. Keeps well.

Prepare all and store separately a day ahead in refridgerator. Mix just before serving.

Wacky, Part 2

"This book cover reminds me of the cover photo of my project when I was at Columbia. I missed P.E. because I was on a farm in Pennsylvania with my back to the camera. And my hair was braided and long. My P.E. coach wanted to fail me for missing class, but he couldn't. He just couldn't. He passed me with flying colors. You know, I had a 4.0 at Columbia."

"Do you have any New York Times authors? Nononononononononono, not New York Times bestsellers. New York Times authors, like Thomas Friedman. Where's his new book?"

"I want some books on marathons. I'm training for a marathon. Oh no, not these. I really want something on breathing...breathing and stretching. Stretching. No, I saw those. Those are like yoga. I really want a book on breathing while running. Breathing."

"And I don't want any rewards. This is like getting a bad manicure over and over again."---

As spoken to me by a colorful character tonight at work. She complained about our service, asked for authors who don't exist, then had my staff running around to find things for her until I told them to stop because she wasn't going to buy them anyway. I was right. She only bought a magazine...the only item she actually picked up by herself. And she attempted insults the entire time.

I had to make a decision between keeping her calm and getting her out of the store as fast as possible, or insisting she leave immediately and risking her blowing up and creating a huge scene. I opted for the former, and I think it was the right choice. I think she was wanting me to push her buttons. I didn't give her the satisfaction.

I thoroughly laughed when she had gone.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

He Said What?

I had a great day. You won't believe it after you read all the crazy and crappy things that occurred, but it's true; I had a great day.

I had a dentist appointment this morning. It rained thoroughly last night and on into today, so it took me much longer than the time I alloted to make the drive from Dallas to Ft. Worth. Traffic around downtown D was bad bad bad, but I was only a few minutes late, and it all worked out because they weren't quite ready for me. I was complimented on the care I give my teeth, and we talked about options for whitening them (how many caffeinated drinks to I consume each day? 89? 154? Not really that many, but I would like a bit brighter smile. I certainly don't want them to glow. I think there is a good balance to be found. I'll do that procedure in the near future.

I made it back to Dallas after the appointment, and the rain had stopped. I still had a couple of hours before I needed to head to work, so I put "The Others" in the DVD player. I had seen it in the theatres when it first came out, but couldn't remember much of it, and it spooked me so badly when I tried to watch it last night, that I had to turn it off and sleep with the light on. I'm such a scaredy cat sometimes. I finished the film and headed to work.

I was walking from the parking garage, along the side of the store to the front, when some man yelled "Fat Bitch", and a bunch of other unintelligible things, from a car that was going down the street. I didn't turn to look, and there is a slight possibility he wasn't yelling at me. But I didn't see anyone else near me at that time. What possesses people to yell things out their car windows?

I was feeling really good about the work day, getting a lot accomplished and really trying to give positive feedback and reinforcement and public recognition to people. I had asked for some feedback from folks earlier this week, and several people said they felt they weren't receiving enough positive feedback. And people are doing great things all the time, so this is something I'm working on.

Then a little before 9pm, I had a guy who made the guy who yelled 'FUCK' at the top of his lungs, the guy who dropped his crack pipe on the floor, and the guy who threw ice water all over a table of books, look sane by comparison.

This guy did something, then apologized for it, then wanted to shake my hand, then folded his middle finger down to 'flip me off' during the handshake. Remember doing this in the 4nd grade as a joke with your friends? Then when I called him on it, he began yelling at me, telling me he was disabled, and tried to convince me that his pinky finger on his right hand is folded over and that's what I felt. I couldn't get the guy to leave, and he made a big ruckus at the front doors until a friend? of his came through the front doors and dragged him out by the arm. The whole time this guy was yelling "I'm disabled. I'm disabled. She won't apologize!". Um, yeah. There's more to it than this, but suffice it to say that I certainly didn't want my customers or my staff to have to see that crap going on, and his behavior was absolutely unacceptable. One of the customers said, "Freak show!"

Good grief. He must have been drunk or high or 'distressed' as he put it.

I also skinned a big chuck off the knuckle of my right thumb while helping my cafe seller unscrew the top of one of our whipped cream devices, which happened while I was helping mop up a huge cold brewed coffee leak in the cafe kitchen. So I was mopping and bleeding, mopping and bleeding.

It was still a great day. I am loathe to go to bed because then the day will be over. But it is almost 2am, and I must away to dreamland soon.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

My City Is So Damn Corrupt

Click the blog title for a quick article on the indictment of multiple Dallas City Council members and other civic 'leaders'.

And don't even get me started on the DISD (Dallas Independent School District) issues.

Good gawd.