Tis The Season for "Hey Santa"

The Holidays are here in full force in the retail world which means that it is time for the stores to have all of the holiday displays and decorations up. I have already even done some of my Christmas shopping. As hard as the Holidays can be in retail I also love this time of year, the influx of customers and overall Holiday cheer is great to see. I love making book recommendations and assisting customers purchase presents for loved ones.

One of the ways to put customers in the happy Holiday spirit is through playing Holiday music in the store. After a while the same five Cd's will drive the employees nuts but chances are a customer will not be in for five straight hours so they will hear some of their favorite holiday songs and want to shop. It lifts the spirits of even some of the most stressed shoppers. This year however, my music is not under lock and key as it was last year, and some employees and other managers keep changing my Cd's. Today when I came into work I didn't feel like I was in a winter wonderland, I felt like I was in Southern Italy (or a bad Italian restaurant). I immediately went to the CD player and changed all of the Cd's to Holiday themed songs. I also put a sign on the CD Player telling people that I would remove their fingers if I found non-holiday music in the player.

Thirty minutes later I hear Eric Clapton's new CD playing, this is not Christmas music! I immediately return to the player and change the Cd's and then hunt down the culprit. I was so pissed because my sign had even disappeared and I had to find who took my sign and changed the music. I found my sign ripped up in the trash receptacle of one of my managers who was not in today. It was a well played move, however, I knew I would still find the person who had done this (and I did). I calmly explained to them the reasoning behind this and they looked at me like I was crazy, but seemed to respect that it was my decision and I am ALWAYS RIGHT.

So the motto of this story is that even if Hey Santa drives you crazy, not hearing Hey Santa or something of the sort will drive me crazier.

(If you know nothing about the song "Hey Santa," please refer to last holidays posts!)

Bad Driving

First off, I know I have been MIA almost all month, no I did not die at my birthday party, I even managed to make it to brunch the following morning at a reasonable hour. Work has been nuts (I have hired and fired about 6 people in the last 3 weeks) and of course it is the Holiday season. This year will not be as crazy as last year was (at least for me) when it comes to the Holidays but there is still a lot to do. I hope that I can get back on a usual blogging schedule as well because as I have said it helps me de-stress and deal with all of the crazy days.

I am back in Boston now, and back to work today after a few days off in New York with the family. It is always good to go home even if it is for a short period of time. I love my family even if they drive me nuts and I love being home for the holidays. When and if that day comes when I am not in New York with the family on the holidays it will be weird. I drove down to New York on Thursday morning, and I think that was one of my biggest mistakes.

I haven't driven my car in close to two months for a number of reasons. I started it every once in a while, but didn't even drive it around the block. But it is getting cold now, and I needed to drive to New York for the holiday so it was time to put the car back on the road. I am however, a notoriously bad driver, my friends hate when I am the driver. Not because I do things horribly wrong behind the wheel but because my vision is bad, I don't know my left from my right and some people think I drive to fast while others think I drive to slow. Also, I am always on the phone and even when I am not I never have both hands on the wheel. So add to these weaknesses some heavy traffic and for the first time driving for a long distance with my contacts in and we are pretty much waiting for a disaster.

I left at 10:15 in the morning and the first 30 minutes was smooth sailing until I got to 495 and the traffic began. Now I have admitted that I am a bad driver but the people on the road on Thursday morning were ridiculous. People were flying up the shoulder of the road, forcing themselves into already packed lanes, cutting people off and stomping on their breaks inches from the car in front of them. I was making a valiant effort to avoid impending catastrophes by calmly listening to my music and remaining off of my phone, but as the hours passed and traffic wasn't moving I became more and more frustrated and ever so bored. So I began dancing to my I-Pod (the new once since my bag at work was stolen) and making phone calls to wish people a happy turkey day (gobble gobble). At this point I ma three hours into a trip that normally takes three hours and I am at least 90 minutes from my destination.

Through Hartford I am traveling at about 85 miles an hour in the center lane and I still have people up my ass and passing me all over. Trucks are flying down the right lane an barrelling practically into the trunks of compact cars. Older couples are merging into the highway at 30 miles per hour and accelerating to 40. I am exhausted, my knee hurts and I fear for the lives of some of these people on the road, especially since I have witnessed at least 4 close calls.

When I finally make it all the way through to Waterbury, traffic stops, like a dead stop that you see in the cartoons where all the cars pile up onto one another. we sit and don't move. I am stressed because I am missing so much time with my family, and I have to pee so bad. We are not moving and all I see ahead of me is bright red tail lights, all of the drivers seen as frustrated as I am and are doing very stupid things. My blood boils for over an hour as I sit in traffic, my stomach is churning because I haven't eaten. I am saving myself for Thanksgiving dinner after all. It looks like traffic is about to break, I can see flashing lights from police cars, and bright spotlights on the road, as I drive closer I notice that there are trees all over the road, nice trees not branches, as a matter of fact, it appears a Christmas Tree truck has lost its entire load of trees all over 84. Tis the season!

It is close to 5:00pm when myself and my car stagger into my aunt's house for dinner. I am exhausted but it is good to see family, and I am glad that I made it home, I can only hope that all the other bad drivers on the road that day made it home as well.

Shakespeare: The World As Stage

So, I didn't hate Shakespeare: The World As Stage. I finished the last few pages this morning and enjoyed learning a few random facts, like the agree upon spelling of his name is actually not one of the spellings that he ever used, but he did spell his name at least six different ways. I also learned that there is no agreed upon order for his plays, and some people don't even think he actually existed. Ah yes, and you know that picture you have in your mind of what William Shakespeare looks like, well that may not be what he looks like because it is based on an artist sketch that was done well after his death.

Now I agree none of these are groundbreaking, and I probably should have learned all this in high school when studying Shakespeare but I really didn't care for any of his plays, and never really paid that much attention to what was going on in class when we were studying him. I find that I would probably appreciate Macbeth or Hamlet more if I read them today, I would have a better understanding, much like I actually appreciate The Great Gatsby and The Stranger now, when I didn't when I first read them. However, I don't think I can go back and read any Shakespeare but we will see.

I am now off to my next challenge, I started reading The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. I was going to start reading it a few months ago, but I opted out because it is close to 600 pages. This scared me because I am a slow reader and I was worried that I would get bogged down and not be able to finish. I guess we will see how things go, I am already 40 pages in so it is going pretty fast.

Happy One Year Anniversary "Stuff On My Mind"

Almost One Year Part 2

And now I will continue with some of my favorite posts as I approach the one year anniversary of the blog, and the second anniversary of my twenty fifth birthday. I mentioned to S last night that I was blogging for almost a year now and he was shocked, he is getting to that age where time starts accelerating... must suck to get old (oh wait!) So here we go with some more of my favorite posts, i narrowed in down for the second half otherwise I would be going on forever...

March 13, 2007 Another Note On Darwin- a very short post on one of my important observations regarding the survival of the fittest.

April 7, 2007 Mobey On My Pocket- I am going through a new batch of hires again, but nobody has topped the girl whose objective was to get a job to put "Mobey on her pocket." It is still a joke around the store, we laugh at this poor girl non-stop.

April 23, 2007 Super Duper Catch Up Post- A post that involves fat people in small clothing, revolving doors, escalators, Rollerblades, sunburns and much much more.

April 27, 2007 My Jeans Have Been Found- Finally, after months of being gone my missing jeans have been found, a conclusion to a saga... Or is it?

May 13, 2007 Fall Down Go Boom- It was the start of the summer and I was out on my Rollerblades, I always fall at least once each season, and it is always in dramatic fashion, this time it involved a stray dog on a leash and some people blocking my path.

June 3, 2007 When Good Nights Go Terribly Wrong- This post marks a turning point, or at least I hope a turning point in my life. It was S's Birthday and I did not behave, I lost my mind and went completely bonkers. Out of body experience pissed for no reason, and I ruined S's Birthday. Since then we have obviously made up, and I hope that I have grown from this, I have been better at controlling my temper and S and I have not fought since. It's a good sign, and I have been dealing with frustration much better.

June 7, 2007 Learning from My Temper- Again, another part of my turning point, where C smacks me upside the head with the obvious. I think I have learned and grown up, maybe one of the biggest lessons of the year.

June 18, 2007 Please Don't Get Naked in My Store- This is just a hint but the store is public, nakedness is not acceptable in public, please keep your clothing on. Yes, I am talking to you man in your underwear on my sales floor.

July 6, 2007 The Opposite First Date- I had a bad one earlier in the year, and this was a good one. Things didn't work out but we are still friends and it was one of the best first dates I have had.

July 31, 2007 Water Country, Water Country, Water Country... Have Some Fun- 30 year olds on water slides and Bible Lady Makes an appearance outside of the bookstore.

August 27, 2007 Pop Goes the Soda- It was right before Rush and it was a huge mess.

September 3, 2007 Blue Light???- DJ R got drunk, and he never drinks, it was hilarious. Now make sure if the light is about to turn blue you run!

September 10, 2007- Violence is the Answer, Isn't It??- I believe that if you are an idiot I should have the right to kick you. I think it is a good way for me to control my anger... by taking it out on the source of the anger.

October 19, 2007 Women and Men Are The Same Size- The most recent post on this list is about a woman who didn't understand the different sizes in the store, she drove me nuts.

And those are my tons of favorite posts for the year so far, I hope I have many more entertaining ones for you. I am sorry that I was not able to make the links work, but you can search by month or by title on the blog so you should be able to find them. Happy Anniversary Stuff on My Mind, who woulda thought you would last this long!

Almost One Year Part 1

This week marks the one year anniversary for the blog, its kind of weird to go back and take a look at what I have been through in the past year. I had a birthday, I went through Christmas in my old store, I got a promotion and my assistant got my old job. I started a new job, had jury duty, read over 20 books. I had fights, had first dates both good and bad, fell for a boy (we will see where that goes). The cats were sick, had some moments of being depressed, I got angry and happy, went on vacation, went on business trips, Britney even shaved her head, I guess it has been a crazy year for lots of people!

So what I decided to do this week, leading up to my birthday, and the one year anniversary of this blog was to revisit some of my favorite posts and maybe even comment on some of the posts I have made. Starting from some of my original posts back last November.

November 14, 2006 The Not So Artful Interview- this is one of my favorite posts, and I really wish that all of the candidates that were coming in for interviews would read this post.

November 24, 2006 S Wants to Be Entertained- This is when you all first realized that I was crazy, now you expect it but I think it caught a few of you by surprise at first.

December 6, 2006 Day 12.5 Who Invited the 80's Back- No seriously who invited the 80's back? It is not okay.

December 7, 2006 Day 14 I Can Share the Good News and Bibles- Where I announced my promotion and introduced my readers to the Bible Lady... yes she eats the bible!

December 11, 2006 Day 18 We Had an Emergency- Woman gets locked in bathroom- must save her by prying doors off hinges!

December 19, 2006 Day 26 I Don't Speak Crazy- This is a recurring topic and issue, but I am sorry, I just don't speak crazy so I don't understand what you crazy people want.

January 24, 2007 Note to self...- It is always a bad idea to read text messages when you are in meetings, especially at a new job. This was all S's fault.

February 8, 2007 Ojos Asi y Comiendo Mierda- I really, Really, REALLY hate it when people go to the gym and don't work out. The gym is not the place to have phone conversations and complete business strategies.

February 19, 2007 Cone Heads- After poor Bob had the unfortunate operation and had to spend two weeks wearing a cone around his head I discovered and ingenious plan to stop the idiots of the world! I would strap cones around their heads and force them to wear them around for extended periods of time. It really is a great idea!

February 21, 2007 My Favorite News Story- Britney Spears shaved her head, I named her my first real life person to get a cone, unfortunately nobody took me seriously and she has totally lost control, even today 7 months later. If only the Cone Head plan had been adopted worldwide.

Well there are a few months worth, I had a lot of favorites in December because it was such a busy time for me. I have some other favorites I will share in Part 2, coming up later this week

Funny Looks For Funny Books

One of the first books I read when I started riding the T to work was Getting Stoned with Savages. Remember I was getting funny looks on the train when I was reading this book, and I even left it on the train one morning in a fit of discombobulation. Well, I enjoyed this book and the only reason I read his second book first was because my old store didn't have Sex Lives of Cannibals in stock when I bought the second book.

So, the last book I finished reading was Troost's first book, The Sex Lives of Cannibals, this book is not about sex or cannibals, although it does remotely touch on these subjects, this book is about the author and his time he spend with his wife on an equatorial atoll in the Pacific. An atoll is a coral reef that reaches above sea level to form an island.

Not only was I reading this book on the train, and getting funny looks, much like the ones I received for reading Getting Stoned with Savages, but I also go very funny looks on the plane ride to Rochester from fellow passengers. I still don't understand the need to look at me funny for the books I choose to read. This title is a perfectly legitimate book about an authors travels in a foreign land. It looks at the cultural differences of this nation and how it effected the author. I learned things that I would not have otherwise known. No the authors writing wasn't exquisite, and no it was not an earth shattering book, but it is also not Nora Roberts or Danielle Steel, and I don't look at you all funny for reading that shit. Well, maybe I do!

Now, for those of you who don't approve of my previous choices, I am currently reading Shakespeare: The World as Stage, by Bill Bryson. This is not a usual selection for me, especially since I hated William Shakespeare in high school and college. But, it is after all by Bill Bryson and I do love Mr. Bryson, so when I only had 80 pages left to read of Sex Lives of Cannibals I decided to borrow it from the store. I am about 100 pages into the book and so far, so good, it is not my favorite Bryson, but it is entertaining and a fast read. I have even learned a few interesting facts about the playwright- like there is no place where his name is spelled the same. I guess when I finish I will have to let you all know how I feel about Mr. Shakespeare!