Saturday, July 28

An entry, for entry's sake

Oh today was a long day. Many grumpy customers, working on my feet for more than nine hours with just a 30-minute lunch break, and my boss was in a bad mood. I'm worried he found out that I applied for another position. I'm so glad I have tomorrow off.
Thursday we went to the ICA, listened to some music, watched the waves, and looked at some art. Good times.
Can you tell I'm tired?

Wednesday, July 25


Outside Davis Square this afternoon, a group of protesters in orange jump suits held signs out at the busy intersection calling for cars to honk to impeach Bush and Cheney. While I had to smile at the hundreds of honks heard ringing through the square, and while I certainly encourage alternative forms of protest, the irony of automobiles honking to impeach the oil industry's most beloved ambassadors did not pass me by.
This past Sunday, I was walking down the street as a woman was rushing around to unload her three children out of a minivan. She looked up at me and suddenly stopped what she was doing. "C'mere, guys. See that woman's shirt? It says 'Hug your kids' ..." and she proceeded to hug each of her children. I'm not sure who had the bigger smile: me, her, or the kids.
Alternative forms of protest ...

Tuesday, July 24

So much fabric ... (I spare you the obvious)

I walk through fabric stores like I do bookstores: like a kid in a candy shop. It's almost overwhelming, to be surrounded by so many choices, but in a delightful way. I want it all. That sort of notion ("oceans of notions!") leaves me guilty every time. Guilty of spending money, wasting resources ... it's hard to be creative when I'm forever competing with my guilt. I'm still figuring out how to solve that one. I went to a fabric store in Arlington and couldn't decide, so we ate some Thai food (hey, inspiration can come in many flavors), browsed the arts and crafts section at the library, and then headed back. I ended up with three fabric choices: yellow with 1920s-ish red dots, yellow with muted sunflowers, and yellow with multiple flowers in a 70s style. Mike can't believe that I buy all that fabric without having a clue what I'm going to do with it. I want to make some quilts, pillows, maybe a purse ... but his shock made me feel guilty again, i.e., I spent too much and I don't even know what I'm going to make. I'm using all this cotton without having a real purpose in mind! What if it just sits there, unused? And so on and so on, my brain repeats. Christina wrote on a post-it note last week instructions for the remote control: "Just press repeat. :0)" with a little arrow pointing upwards. I put it below my calendar at my workstation. Ain't that the truth.

Monday, July 16

The ocean view

Mike is feeling much better. His fever broke, and his midterms are almost over. Yesterday we spent on the oceanfront. I could watch the waves and the water for weeks. It's so relaxing, comforting, thought-provoking ... Like coffee in an armchair. All of the small particles becoming one with the others, and back again. Life.

Saturday, July 14

Movie (sans popcorn)

Usually I'm too tired after work to go out (standing on your feet for 9 hours straight'll do that to ya), but today I had an intern working with me so Mike and I saw Everything's Gone Green. It was a nearly empty theater but a pretty good film, one of those feel-good ones that I usually despise. This wasn't overcooked, though, and had a good dosage of humor. I was expecting it to be eco-driven, but I misinterpreted that one ...

Wednesday, July 11

My Sick Man

Hubby is learning how to knit so he can teach me. He's good at learning from diagrams, and I'm more of a tactile learner. We have gotten several looks, especially at the RMV. It's probably more shocking that he's a metalhead with needles than a man.
He went to the doctor for the first time in more than a decade (thanks, no health insurance!) yesterday and today came down with a fever - the first time he's been sick in probably a year or two. He says he's dreaming of yarn connecting secondary dominants. What a cute, sick composer.

Tuesday, July 10

The Two-Second Lightning Rule

In the morning meeting, His Highness read out our most recent secret shopper report.
Did we greet the customer? Yes. Did we mention specials? Yes. Were we dressed professionally? Yes. So far, so good. Did the cashier ask if you were a member? Yes.
... Any additional comments? My wife and I were delighted at the spectacular (yes, spectacular) service we received. Not only were the cashiers, Allen and his young female coworker, professional, they engaged us in a jocular and amusing conversation, making the entire trip worthwhile, entertaining, and pleasurable. Outstanding!
And while The Head Tomato read this commentary out loud, the more he read, the more I knew that "young female coworker" was me. I had been covering lunches for sales associates that day, and I remember joking with this older couple and Allen about membership. I asked if they were members, they said no, and then they said, "This membership thing must be a big deal; everyone keeps asking us that!" and I told them we reserve the red carpet for our members - we even hire fake papparizzi to run around and take their pictures as they enter our store. Everyone laughed and it was a good time.
After Big Boss finished reading the secret shopper dodah, I said, "I think that was me; I remember ringing that couple." And everyone at the meeting was silent and just looked at me like yeah, right. Of course it was you. But it really was!
Boss said, let's all congratulate Allen when he comes in ... this was the best report I've ever seen since I started here 12 years ago. We usually get a secret shopper once a month, so being the best report out of 146 others is quite an ordeal. I know, I know, my position is managerial, so I should rank that high anyway and just be happy for Allen, but hey, credit due where credit's due! I felt jipped.
I casually brought it up later by asking if Power Hungry Man could look up the transaction and see who was ringing, but he claimed he couldn't. That's BS for sure; every manager I've ever worked with can look up transactions and who rung what. That's why we have to log in every time anyway ... so they can kick our asses if something goes wrong! So now that something went right, he all of a sudden lost his ability to look up crap?
Of course this whole scenario just reinforced Assistant Power Hungry's view that I think I'm wonderful. Did I tell you that story? I was joking around my second week, turned around to Assistant Shithead and said, "I'm just so awesome!" Well, apparently he took that literally, and henceforth started rumors that I think my shit don't stink. Off subject. But I can just hear him thinking. Of course she thought it was her. She's so wonderful it had to be her. What a princess.
So back to the wonderful, glowing review of work that's mine that no one believes is mine. Following that tasty morsel of I-can't-look-up-good-things, Head Shithead says to me, oh I've been meaning to ask you: do you look up if items are coming before you ask your buyer (who is yet another one of my bosses) if we have any? Of course, I'm not stupid.
Then he says, well your buyer told my boss (General Manager or GM as the folks say) that you call her too much. Huh? I've never called that woman in my life. I don't even know her phone number! And she told the GM that I never look up SKUs first, which is more BS! Just last week I e-mailed her and said the computer says we can order more of this, we sell it very well, but we've been out for two weeks, can you please order more (all of which is HER job)? And she thanked me for noticing, complimented me, etc ... for looking up SKUs, basically.
I told my Head Shit, "Well that's odd. I always look up SKUs first and I never call her." And he nodded his head in the same motion as earlier this morning: sure you do. I don't believe a word you're saying. He paused in the nod, and said, "You shouldn't be so defensive." Well shouldn't I be defending myself if I didn't do that?? Of course I kept my trap shut.
Immediately after he walks away, a customer service associate comes over and says my buyer's on the phone. Yeah, SHE called ME. And guess what the first thing out of her mouth was? "Wow, it's been a long time since we last spoke."
"Yeah, it has," I replied. ?! I looked around with my mouth in shock mode. Isn't there a two-second lightning rule somewhere?

Monday, July 9


On Saturday night, I went to a local indie bookstore and picked up my first knitting how-to book ... and finished reading it the next day. Today I'm stopping by Windor Buttons to pick up a ball and some needles. Yah! I've always wanted to learn how to knit, crochet, etc ... but my mom isn't a crafty person and both of my grandmas lived thousands of miles away. I had a neighbor, Nancy Bonkowski, who taught me how to sew when I was about 7 years old. I have random memories of sitting in their attic with my old best friend Lisa and sewing. It was dimly lit and my neck hurt from bending over my work, but I loved it. Later on, in middle school's Home Ec class, I sewed on a machine and made a black canvas bag. My older brother didn't believe me when I showed it off proudly at home. "Somebody in China made that," he sneered. "You're a liar." I could have cried or punched him in the guts, I don't remember, but I still have that bag and that memory.

Sunday, July 8

Time to Clock Out?

My current meanderings at work have found me in the children's department. I'm certainly aware of the fact that my hormones have been screaming at me for the last two years or so, but never did I picture myself staring at titles of children's books and holding back a sniffle for some odd biological reason. And when you get it in your head, you really do notice all of those little ones, their little braids, tiny fingers, funny coos, crazy cowlicks ... oh don't get me started. I'll be looking for a tissue in no time. What is happening to me??

Thursday, July 5

Fall down, go boom

Apparently you have to experience fireworks on the Esplanade at least once in your lifetime. Or at least that's what the two dozen or so Bostonians have told us in the last two weeks. So last night found us bidding our poor dogs (tail-between-the-legs, are-you-really-leaving-us-in-this-weird-thunderstorm poor dogs) adieu for two hours for the "best fireworks display in the nation." The hype and the hordes of people were beckoning my inner skeptic, but I followed along the throngs of glow-sticks nonetheless. It was on again, off again raining, which pleased my introverted side. We were expecting trouble finding a spot, but we quickly staked out a space and listened to the TV broadcast blaring from a box labelled #22. Heralded by all the news personalities as "spectacular" so many times, I began to set myself up for major disappointment. The usual dance: have hope but don't set your expectations too high or you'll be disappointed so if you have hope, have fear that your hope might be too high for reality and subsequently be prepared for both awe and disappointment; seeing as you're prepared for the two extremes, it'll almost always fall somewhere in the middle, which means it was really nothing at all so what did you get so worked up about to begin with? Last night, however, proved to be the exception: it actually was exceptional. The fireworks were nearly perfectly synchronized with the music, and each show (or song) outdid any and every finale I've ever seen. The rain managed to fall right into my eyes as I watched, but then again, without the rain, there would have been twice as many people.