Monday, November 28, 2005

'Tis the Season

'Tis the Season

The annual Kunzepalooza is over. Or at least, everyone's gone home. And we still have trees to decorate. Mom keeps hinting that it would be "fun" if I would come over and finish it. Usually she says this from a ladder halfway up the 12 foot tree which she is festooning with angels and beaded garland. My tree is "A disaster." Maybe if getting the last two strands of bubble lights hadn't taken three hours, we could have finished it. And having the stand break twice and the tree fall over didn't help either (Note for next time: HGTV showed how to cut a piece of metal conduit to convert a live tree stand to one that holds and artificial one. Wish we'd thought of that. We cut dowel rods to make shims. Not as effective.)

Yesterday I spent seven hours as the Designated Driver on a Lower Valley wine tour. We went everywhere. I smelled some good wine, then got bent out of shape that I couldn't have any, so went back to the car and read 150 pages or so of my book. I'm within 100 of the end. I should finish that tonight. That means another $8.65 and a trip to Inklings in my immediate future.

Tonight I have band practice. I finally figured out how to burn Sean's MP3's onto a CD using our brand spanking new eBay computer. It's so fast! Our last one took for flipping ever to download anything, and we didn't know how we would ever get it to upload pictures. One of our regular donors was talking to Paul, our technology guy, and he mentioned our need, and the guy decided instead of giving a check this time, he'd buy us a new one. Oh how nice it is!

Something just flashed out of the corner of my eye. Someone ran blinker lights around our display window. I wonder when that happened. This is what I get for taking off early friday. The whole store gets rearranged.

My New Resolution

My New Resolution

Ok, so it's a little early for official resolutions, but on the wall at Inklings was a newspaper article about local shops going out of business because everyone is going to Walmart. My last favorite bookstore, Sunshine and Wisteria, went out of business a few years ago. I didn't shop there very often. They had a very small selection and were a bit pricey, but I must have had them order five copies of "The Phantom" by Susan Kaye when my friend group went through them so much we kept having to duct tape the cover back on.

So here are my new substitutes:

1.Instead of Safeway, Wrays Thriftway.
2. Instead of Borders, Inklings or Off the Record.
3. Instead of Starbucks, Find another coffee shop. That one is difficult. I have a local drive through that I like, and Inklings has great Spiced Chai, but Starbucks is opened later than anything in town other than bars.

Some things however, I still will buy at regular retail. Some stores include:

1. Walmart. I'm sorry. I hate what it does to the job market in our country, but there are some beauty supplies that the mission stockroom doesn't have and it's the cheapest place to buy them on such a limited budget. (But I did have extra money last week and bought shaving cream at Wrays.)
2. TJ Maxx. It's new, but discounted. It's a chain, but I love it for things like stationary and underwear. I'll wear anything else thrift store, but that I want new.
3. Taco Time. It's a chain, but it's a local chain. So I'll keep on with the crisp meat burritos.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Bloomin' Onions

Bloomin' Onions

You sure you don't wanna stop and pick up some burgers or something, you know, road trip food?

It's not a road trip. It's a covert operation.

Right. Right. Gotcha. (beat) I - I bet even covert operatives eat curly fries. They're really good.

(rolls eyes, then) Not as good as those onion blossom things.

Ooh, I love those.

Yeah, me, too.

It's an onion... and it's a flower. I - I don't understand how such a thing is possible.

See, the genius of it is you soak it in ice water for an hour so it holds its shape. Then you deep-fry it root-side up for about 5 minutes.


Yeah. (beat) Tell anyone we had this conversation, I'll bite you.


Monday, November 21, 2005

I'm so tired. I hated it when Kevin said that every day in response to "how are you." but I am. All weekend I turned down every invitation and slept. And read. 1200 pages of the Wheels of Time series. It's very good. I'm on book five now. I think I might take a break after this one and read the prequel.

Today was idiot day again at the shop. For the morning at least. People kept coming up with problems, and even when I gave them the answer they wanted to hear they wouldn't stop talking about it. One lady wanted me to track down the safety key to a donated piece of exercize equiptment that came to the shop about when I did. If they ever had it at the warehouse in the first place, and if they kept that sort of thing around, no way would anyone know where it is. I put in a call to mollify her. Then, after she and our new handy man took it apart to see if it works, and put it back together, all the while carrying on a monolgue about how she doesn't know how much it costs, and without a key there's no way to tell if it will work, and she already plugged it in on saturday and the other lady said to talk to Nancy on monday, and she said Nancy would be here monday morning, and why isn't she back yet, and the other lady said that Nancy could tell her how much it was. Finally I walked away, placed a few calls, and came back with a price of $50. For a treadmill, that's really cheap. And for the hundreds of dollars you aren't paying for a new one, I bet some sporting goods store would know how to order a replacement key. But the monologue kept on going. And I kept giving her the information, and she looked right at me and KEPT TALKING. Later she came to the register sans machine, but with several pairs of earrings and balked at the price I gave her (alright, so I was wrong. Earrings are .50, not $1, but I gave her the second pair for .10 because she just wanted the backs.) Another monologue commenced. I'm not kidding, her shopping experience took up almost an hour of my morning.

We have a new handyman who worked at Goodwill before this. We put him to work testing appliances, but that meant me running around to hunt up power cords and batteries and USB cables and such so he could test them. He reported that we have many appliances that don't work -- but it turns out that they just don't work because he needs something else to test them. I gave him my personal cables to hook a VCR to a TV, and I haven't seen them since, and my batteries, also MIA. Tomorrow I'll have to track them down.

My Immortal is kicking my butt. I am so nervous about that song, and I feel I'm wasting everybody's time at practice playing the whole thing over and over again for the 16 measure they actually join in. I don't have a pop voice, the microphone barely picks me up, and I can't play and sing at the same time yet. And I've practiced for hours and hours.

On the brightside (Speaking of which, Sean, our drummer, won a karoeke contest this weekend singing Mr. Brightside, and $300 to go with it.) tis the season to decorate for Christmas and enjoy the wonderful rush of holiday shoppers. Or perhaps retire to my closet, whimpering in the fetal position until after New Years.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Birthday Wishlist

Birthday Wishlist

Mom's been on my case to get my wishlist published, since my birthday is in a few weeks. (2 1/2?) So here you are. Vain advertising. Whatever.

1.Wheels of Time series by Robert Jordan. I have books 4 & 5, but I'd love the next ones and especially the prequel.

2.Gift Certificates. Bath and Body Works, Victoria's Secret, Off the Record, Michaels, Craft Warehouse, Inklings- anything splurgy that I can't afford working here.

3.I would kill for a pedicure.

4.Anyone who wants to gang up together, I have literally hundreds of out pictures that I need to print out and get into scrapbooks. If you wanted to take my CD's and get a few printed up, I'd love it!

5. Or in another vein, go to Heifer and buy livestock, go to Compassion and sponsor a child or donate to their Christmas fund, or go to your church and pick up an Angel Tree kid.

Or if you were really nice, pay off my student loans so I can move on with my life! :-)

Ideas for Christmas

Ideas for Christmas pt. 1

Go to Heifer International. Instead of loading down that special someone with more crap they don't really need, buy livestock and have it shipped to a poor family overseas. They will use the livestock for food and income, and in turn pass off some of the animals to others in their village or town. Give the gift that keeps on giving!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Horrible Customer

Horrible Customer

I had a teapot snatched out of my hand. This horrid customer was making comments about everything (Look, you can get this set of glasses for 2.25, or just go to the dollar store), pointing out how poorly the shop is run (That camera is pointing the wrong direction. What are they trying to look at?) and as I put her one teapot into a paper bag (could you wrap that), then tried to take the lid off to wrap it -- it wouldn't budge, so I wrapped the whole thing and tried to put it in the bag again while holding onto her credit card. At which point she snatched it away (The purpose of wrapping it in paper is so that it doesn't break when the teapot rattles!) and did it herself.

I'll admit, I'm not in top form today. I'm very tired. In fact, after her, and the lady who was NEXT in line who bought cart loads of stuff (totalling 75.15) which I had to wrap - All of it. Under the watchful eye of the first lady - I've been on the verge of tears for the last hour or so.

My saving grace was the couple who were shopping while all this was going on who roundaboutly maligned all and sundryafter they walked out the door. It's lovely when someone that can SAY something, does. When you can't. I liked them very much. Half an hour more and I can close the doors, close out, and go to dinner. I'm taking me out tonight. Since I'm apparently not going to see a movie this evening.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child

And keeping up with a years-old tradition (thought it's been years since we've done it) Teri and I filled several shoeboxes last night.

They're due Sunday if anyone's thinking of participating. You can print out labels online.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The more you know...

The more you know...ding. ding.

Just when you think you might get a good night's sleep, we get broken into. I, of course, had moved to the guest room. No locks on that door. Nancy called me when the alarms went off to find out if my cats were out. They weren't. And since the alarms had just set themselves, someone could have been in the building for hours and just tripped it. Nancy ran downstairs with a bat to check the alarm, and one door was opened. That's when we both stopped being brave and started cowering in her apartment behind locked doors.

She called her Dad and Sam. Sam, luckily, had just returned from picking up some "mystery meat" for the kitchen, and came speeding over with an economy sized maglight. Nan's dad arrived right behind him and searched the building. They think someone unlocked the door earlier, and then came back.

The good news in the whole thing is: we had alarms. Our system had been out for days and had just been online since that morning.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Hark the Royal French Hens Sing

Hark! the Royal French Hens Sing

How on earth am I supposed to keep my kids from cracking up in the Christmas program when they're singing songs like:

Hark! the royal french hens sing, "Cluck Cluck Cluck Cluck Cluck, Cluck Cluck Cluck Cluck!"

She had my second graders singing it, but it will be my firsts. 2nd grade wouldn't make it through one class, much less a half hour program. And they'd be making chicken sounds the whole rest of the song, and someone would beging flapping their wings....

I wonder if she wants hand motions...

Sunday, November 13, 2005

We made it

We made it

We got all the way through one concert. There were some technical glitches, and loose endings. We got all the way through Jenny was a friend of Mine before anyone clued into what I was saying about not hearing myself. My keyboards had power, but the PA wasn't turned on. We played the song again at the end of the set just for another chance at it. All in all we had a pretty good run of it for a first go around. We play again in a month or so. And we'll have plenty of chance to practice before then. Hurrah for adding Evanescence!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Tonight, tonight, won't be just any night

Tonight, tonight, won't be just any night

I'm running out of heading ideas. I wish I could figure out my formatting problem.

I tried a new type of sleeping pill last night. Hurrah for eight hours of sleep and a two hour nap after work last evening. I think I only woke up three or four times. I hate that I have to rely on drugs for this - I don't even take pain killers most of the time. Stupid sleeping.

I'm ready, I think, for the Calzones first gig this evening. I'm all memorized, we have the new and improved set list down, and I'll be typing up a cheat sheet with my keyboard sounds numbers on it. We'll be heading to load our stuff at 5, eating dinner, sound check, and start after 8 sometime. I've never done anything like this. I hope my t-shirt is ok. Really, I'm more concerned about what to wear than how to play. And have you ever tried to nail guys down on what the band is going to look like? "I don't know. Don't worry about it." Ha. I'm a girl. It's my job.

I think Bible study was cancelled. I can't get ahold of Aimee. She was supposed to be out of town, but the passes have been closed a lot this past week. I'm going to go call her.

And we have no hot water in the building, so I'm off to my folks' house to shower. Gross. Yesterday I had a sponge bath in my sink with a teakettle of boiling water. I feel gross. And I couldn't get all the conditioner out of my hair. Or shave. Ok, enough ablutions talk. See some of you tonight at Grants.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Insomnia has to End

The Insomnia has to End

I haven't slept through the night more than a couple of times since, well since Proof opened I think. Last night I was up for an hour at 4:15, finally got back to sleep on my loveseat and Cai decided he needed to join me. I moved to the floor and then the guestroom around 6:15 and got two good hours with no kitties, no squaling, no automatic litterbox noises, no Cai mewing to get out. Hm. Maybe this isn't a me problem. Maybe this is a cat problem.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Finds of the Week

Finds of the Week at the Lighthouse

Rachel got a Pierre Cardin vintage tan wool coat, and a pair of skis and ski boots by Rossignol.

Kris got (soon) a stack of music from the late 18- early 1900's.

Nancy, whom I'm never speaking to again, got a pair of PRADA shoes.

I think if anything comes in from Gucci, it better be in my size.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Another Choir Concert

Another thing I'd never thought I'd do again

I'm on my way to a choir concert. The Symphony Chorus fall concert. In a dress I altered with safety pins a few hours ago. Size 12. (I'm a 4) And it belongs to someone who intends to use it again, so I'm not allowed to alter it to fit me. Fair enough. The hem is horrible, but at least it isn't dragging on the floor. I am in the front row, though, so someone is bound to notice. If I weren't worried about stickies I would have used duct tape. Works better than safety pins. Ah well.

I have a solo this evening. I used to be a soli but the sopranos didn't know it so Dr. P auditioned for it. Well not really. He asked who knew it, panicked when he thought no one did, asked his section leader to learn it, showed up to the last rehearsal, she found out that I had known it, and told Dr. P I would be singing it instead. Not much of an audition. But still a solo. In Hebrew. Which is a great language for singing. Lots of consonants and ornamentation. Anyway. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Charlotte's Advice

"It may perhaps be pleasant," replied Charlotte, "to be able to impose on the public in such a case; but it is sometimes a disadvantage to be so very guarded. If a woman conceals her affection with the same skill from the object of it, she may lose the opportunity of fixing him; and it will then be but poor consolation to bleieve the world equally in the dark."
~Jane Austen

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

A Passing

Teri Peterson's mom died yesterday. Teri's flying in from Egypt. Everyone keep her and her family in your prayers.